If you have been paying attention to the latest news, NBC’s top anchor, Brian Williams, lied about being in a helicopter shot down by an RPG in Iraq in 2003.
Turns out, his helicopter came in an hour after that actually happened to another helicopter.
He kept that lie going (12 yrs now) even up to as much as March 2013, when he mentioned it on the David Letterman show.
He got called out on it when he first told his RPG story in 2003, but no one paid attention to that one military guy who claimed Brian’s version of what happened was not true.
But the other night at a sports game, Brian Williams was actually honoring the soldier that provided security for him on the ground after his helicopter landed. Ironic as it is.
This time, a slew of military folks called him out on this, and the truth came out. It ended up creating a media firestorm and Brian trending on twitter.
He then issued an apology for the lie.
But the problem was, the apology was a lie too!
US Military folks called him out on that one too.
Brian’s credibility went from a 10 to a 0 in a mere second, just from the lie itself.
Yep, that quick.
It then dropped to a -0 when the apology was realized a lie as well.
Brian’s reputation as a professional tanked, and as an individual it did just as much.
Guys, I can’t emphasize this enough. There is NOTHING more important than your reputation. Nothing.
There can be no position you hold that is higher than your personal character and the ethics you hold.
A fancy title, or being famous, or being well known can not cover your ass on this.
There is no amount of money in the world that you can buy your reputation with.
There is no company or government you can ever work for that will ever make your reputation better if you mess it up.
You need to own your reputation.
Your reputation is you. It’s a reflection of you.
Your reputation needs to be something you build bigger & more solid than any business you will build.
This is THE one crucial thing you will need to build any successful business.
You can build a business, sure. But it won’t be successful to the levels you will want it to be if your reputation is not so grand.
Never stop amplifying your reputation. You don’t build it once and it stays. It’s something you have to uphold every single day.
It doesn’t take a lot to do this. It just takes being real, genuine, having some morals, and if you do mess up, admit it.
But don’t do what Brian did. Which is the equivilant of a non-apology. It’s the same as saying “I am sorry, but…” That is not an apology either. It’s you not being sorry and you putting the blame on someone or something else still.
You need to control your reputation as much as you can, especially being online today. If you don’t control your reputation, someone else will, and it’s probably not going to be to your liking.
Your reputation, like Brian’s, could get significantly downgraded or uplifted in as little as a second nowadays, because of the internet.
And it’s partially based off the choices you make. So be sure to keep this in mind always.
Reputation management isn’t something that is hard. It’s just something that needs to be more important to you than you might normally think about – on a daily basis.
So, before you tell someone your adventure story, be sure to leave out the exaggeration. Before you promise to do something, be sure you can really come through on that. Before you say you didn’t know, make sure it’s you really not knowing (incomplete or misinformation on something) vs you not wanting to take ownership for a mess-up or mix up. Etc.
Tips on building your reputation – What you could make your reputation about
1. Your reputation could be as simple as being known for a handshake (if you shake someone’s hand, it’s a done deal, or you only shake hands with people you want to further a conversation or relationship with).
2. Your reputation could be as simple as being known for your word (you promise something, you will come through on it, or you say you will do something, everyone knows it will be done, they don’t even question it.)
3. Your reputation could be as simple as people knowing you as having a ton of energy and if they need an energetic speaker, they will think of you first.
4. Your reputation could be as simple as people knowing you always offer to help them in any way (this is one of mine). But I don’t just type or say those words. I mean them. And I don’t say them to everyone. I say them selectively (people don’t know I am selective, that’s my thing, but it helps me keep it more genuine).
Things like that.
Honestly, in todays world, these things are still rare, so don’t slight these simple reputation builders.
You don’t get a good reputation by chance. It’s something you naturally are, or you purposefully decide you want to be as a person, and you simply show that to the world by your words, actions, persona, etc.
Look you don’t have to create some big, elaborate reputation. Just be you. But be a you that has an ethic based personal character.
Never let your ego get so big that you think you are above your own reputation.
And, don’t mess with the #USMilitary !
ps: What you establish as your reputation could also be a differentiator between you & your competition. So leverage it as much as you can.
Decide at least 1 new thing that you will add to enhance your reputation this year.
– Find unique or fun ways to market/promote this, or just let others become aware of it.
-Tip: see what your competition is doing and pick something to do the opposite of them
What to do next:
1. This is an important topic for everyone, as your personal reputation is equally as important as your professional one. So please share this with your network and friends. They might get an idea from the tips I provide.
2. Let me know what you have done to build your reputation over the years, or what you plan to do after reading this. Head over to my FBFanpage and send me a note/comment. I would like to know!