The Criticality of Reputation

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I read a powerful excerpt today that I wanted to share:

“Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once it slips, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.”

– Robert Green, The 48 Laws of Power

While most of us have no desire to climb the ranks by destroying the reputation of others, I love this excerpt as it is a great reminder of how critical it is to understand the power in the reputation that we build, hold, and protect for ourselves.

When I make an excuse to not do something that I should do, it begins to tear down my reputation. That one overly confident post. That one political rant. That one fight. Being involved in that small gossip behind an acquaintances back or worse a friend.

These all do more damage than we could ever imagine. For the way we perceive and carry ourselves is a bi-product of what we do and when we do shady things, we become shady people in the perception of all who know us.

And remember, perception is reality.

Everything we do, impacts our character, which is the bedrock of our reputation. Be high in character and nothing anyone says will matter, because all who truly know you, including yourself, will know who you are as a person, and the rest will take care of itself.

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