Your reputation is different than your integrity, in many ways it is more dynamic and complex. Like integrity, I believe there is a score that can be assigned to your reputation. So let’s arbitrarily assign a perfect score of 100 when we are born.
Over your lifetime your reputation is likely to experience volatility through both your controlled actions and the totally random events that may happen to you or around you. The bad news is your reputation can take a severe hit and cause the community to shun you or prevent you from getting a job, admittance into a school or something else you desire.
The good news is, unlike integrity, your reputation score can rise after it has fallen.
To me, integrity is in a person’s DNA. See my recent post on integrity here What’s Your Integrity Score?
Reputation is how others see you and by definition your ability to control it is limited. Reputation is particularly volatile now with the advent of social media which is next to impossible to control.
Hit “return” and your thoughts and insights are gone forever from your control. So you better be “right” and “comfortable” with your views or your reputation can be set back.
Reputation management is about as easy to control as identity theft. There are firms whose business it is to help us manage our reputations, both corporate and personal. This isn’t like the excellent series on Showtime, #Ray Donovan, which my wife and I binge watched one recent weekend. These companies are sliding on a slippery slope in handling personal reputations.
That’s hard work.
This reminds me of the company, Lifelock. The CEO of this Personal Fraud Protection company, Todd Davis, has had his identity stolen a lucky 13 times and counting.
That’s tough work too.
Just think of the combinations of reputation and integrity. Let’s pick on some famous people just for fun.
I would say junk bond king Michael Milken has low integrity but a good reputation due to his philanthropic work raising money for the treatment of prostate cancer. Wikipedia says he is known for “securities fraud and philanthropy”.
What a combination.
How about Charlie Sheen? Here’s a guy who was admired by many then subsequently blew up his reputation and integrity through his thoughtless acts over the past few years. He is the personified version of Joan Jett not giving a dam about his bad reputation. His score is a dastardly zero on both scales in my view.
Robert Downey Jr. is an interesting one. He overcame drug addiction and is now one of the most respected actors in Hollywood. I heard him on Howard Stern recently and he appears to have high integrity with a rebounded reputation.
Try to positively influence your own reputation by having high integrity. That will go a long way in providing you the chance to raise your reputation score should you fumble the ball or get hit by shrapnel from some person or event around you.
My best, Chris
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