A highly regarded business colleague and friend, Sheelagh Caygill, recently wrote an article about how actively sharing political views can help shape your reputation and it started me pondering about something I’ve been mindful of, and fascinated by, for many years.
What impact do those close to you have on your personal reputation? Do they add to your mana ‘capital’ or do they continually drain your personal reputation bank?
Look around at those that impact most significantly on your life : your company or organisation,, colleagues, partner, family, friends. Have you ever considered whether any have a detrimental or additive value to your own reputation and how the world sees you? And does it matter?
Recently a high profile court case played out in the media when actor Felicity Huffman was found guilty of a crime. Her equally high profile actor husband, William H Macy kept a deliberately low profile during the case, no doubt for justified fear of being damned by association. It was made clear he had no involvement in the actions of his wife and it was an obvious and strategic public relations move that he be distanced from it. During sentencing, he moved back into the picture as supportive husband - once it was clear he had no cognisance of the wrong doing. It can be assumed that the couple would have much to lose if both had been cast as villains in this playbook, as Macy is a regular movie favourite with a considerable $ value.
So, although most of us may not have the multi million $ price tag, we do have something hugely valuable to us all - our greatest asset - our reputation. Some will say that friendships etc are far more valuable than the court of public opinion - however small that might be for each of us. Others may be more tuned in to seeing the behaviour of others affecting their hard won good standing.
So where would you draw the line? What behaviour or activity would have to be demonstrated for you to take action to preserve what you have likely worked most of your lifetime to gain?
It’s an interesting question and one that each of us will have many and various answers to.
But it is worth considering.
What would your company or organisation have to do to make you reconsider working with them because you didn’t feel comfortable that their reputation reflected yours?
How many friendships would you need to lose before you reconsidered that your partner or family were perhaps the reason people were keeping a wide berth?
Some relationships are not so easy to slash and burn.
So, in a quiet moment do a little audit of your own.
Who adds to your personal balance sheet and who negatively impacts it?
Only you can decide whether the cost is worth it.