Heading For Reputation Mastery

Guest post by

Per Frykman

Seth Godin is one of the most significant resources for entrepreneurs, consultants, and leaders who are striving for success. He has highlighted three things about the crucial importance of our reputation.

  1. Your reputation has as much impact on your life as what you actually do.
  2. The single best way to maintain your reputation is doing things that you're proud of.
  3. Reputation is what people expect us to do next and how we do it.

Guest articles ᛫ 2019.05.23

I have always been fascinated by the word Mastery both in sports, handicrafts and in business. It's not about being the best; instead, it's an exciting process to embrace a niche having the pure pleasure of becoming genuinely good in your area, standing out as unique.

Reputation Mastery means focusing on the combination of growing your expertise and all those crucial soft skills creating results. It's about being a nerd in your area with an everlasting curiosity and commitment to always feel proud of your deliveries. Above all, it's focusing on the value that you bring to others.

One thing that I initially had a hard time accepting was that I don't own my reputation since it's how others are perceiving my actions. What I quickly realized was that I could influence it in significant ways by my commitment to regularly raise the bar of my performance. However, it's also the other way around; your reputation shapes your actions and decides your level of success.

You can't opt out from having a reputation, and you can't ignore it; it's how others perceive your work and how you do things. Instead, it would be best if you handle it with your actions and commitment, as it is the foundation of everything in your professional life. The self-awareness that comes from knowing your reputation is the number one success factor today for everyone, no matter what position you have.

I'm privileged to meet and work with some of the game changers who don't have just a job; they have this natural craftsmanship approach, with their reputation as their greatest asset. I can't see another single strategy with the same impact as working with your reputation.

“Reputation Mastery means focusing on the combination of growing your expertise and all those crucial soft skills creating results.”

The Paradox - You Can't Work On Your Reputation

The Carnegie Institute of Technology has looked into what creates financial success among technical consultants. The results show that 85 percent of your financial success stems from unique personal qualities such as personality, the ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Only, as they wrote, "a shockingly low" 15 percent is due to their technological background, this goes for all of us, and working with reputation will give you the full picture.

The new ways of working will demand focus on a unique set of skills. We are in a digitally intensive era where, of course, digital building expertise will be in high demand together with the soft skills that put them to action with a successful result, combined with also the business skills that put everything to great use will build an excellent reputation. It's always about that combination of expertise, experience, soft skills, and at the same time handling the bugs that might hinder your success.

Reputation is extremely important, but I also hear people saying that you shouldn't be concerned about what others think about you. However, dismissing reputation is not such a great idea. Your reputation ultimately determines your future opportunities, and successful people have always stressed that building and maintaining reputation is a fundamental ingredient to their success.

Reputation mastery is the commitment to making the most excellent contribution in your particular area. The paradox is that you can't work directly on your reputation; instead, it's a by-product and spin-off of your work. Reputation is something you earn by doing truly great work, treating people well, and staying genuine. You can't have an excellent reputation without putting in this effort.

Success in life or business is entirely based on your reputation. Those words from one of the worlds most successful leaders Richard Branson shows the relevance it has in the business world today, and I will suggest that this is the case for everyone whatever positions that we might have in your business or career.

Your Reputation Always Walks Ahead Of You

What others say about you carries more weight than what you say about yourself. There is nothing so powerful as a positive reputation and the recommendations that it brings. It travels fast and always walks ahead of you. It must stand up for you when you're not there,  important decisions are made, and it will do the job before you arrive. It might be time to get to know what it looks like and how you can grow and expand it. A vast majority lack this crucial knowledge.

Your reputation is the most critical part that you bring from one deal to the next, from project to project and how you act is always the multiplier. Having an excellent reputation is the golden key that opens doors to exciting people and companies that you want to do business with or learn from them.

Each time that I give feedback on someone's professional reputation through their Reputation Resumé, I see the tremendous positive impact that it has. Typically it takes about a week or two to get it into your mind and body to accept the strengths, and then something powerful happens. Suddenly you get the courage and tools to pursue the goals that you are aiming to achieve over time. You will act on your strengths and also get the possibility to handle the bugs/weaknesses that might hinder your success. Regardless of age, regardless of position, or the business we're in, we need to understand the importance and power of reputation. Your success is dependent on it.

Today we're looking for attitudes, the soft skills and those unique qualities that create results and potential. Reid Hoffman, the co-founder of LinkedIn, wrote in his book "The Start-up of You" that those skills are hard to tally, but there is an obvious solution. Knowing your reputation through your Reputation Resumé will get you a 100% accurate description of those unique qualities.

“What others say about you carries more weight than what you say about yourself.”

Release The Beta Version Of You

Every morning when we wake up, most of us see those small red dots on our smartphone apps, meaning that they have been updated. The app was released in a Beta version and is then continuously updated to get better, aiming for something excellent over time. There is something to learn here.

This way of thinking could also apply to your professional growth, and you could release the Beta version of you, realizing that you also have bugs and continuously keep updating yourself. The approach builds on curiosity, courage, and action, and it gives your reputation a huge boost. It's a game changer that transforms your weaknesses into bugs that you can handle in different ways, and you will eventually stop associating risk with failure. Plus, when releasing something new, bugs are quite natural and not a weakness. It will have a significant effect on your way of acting.

I love working with bold companies, and I’ve had the privilege to work with the brilliant consultants and leaders of QGroup for some years around their personal reputation. They are the true pioneers who have fully understood the power of reputation and are actively working with it. They are the game-changers among consultancies, not only seeing things as they are but how they could be.

This article is also an extract from my new book "Let’s Talk About Reputation" that will be published this autumn.

About the author

Per Frykman is the founder of Reputation Mastery™Per offers a unique approach and is committed to exploring every inch of your professional reputation, and works on your Reputation Resumé to provide you with the keys and tools that you need for your future success.

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