The influential thinker Friedrich Nietzsche said; “I’m not upset you lied to me; I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” This has served as one of my guiding lights throughout my life. It has also been the foundation of my reputation during my working career. To me, this statement is all about trust and integrity.

I believe you get one reputation, and you need to decide early on what you want it to be. Actions do speak louder than words; your behaviors must support it. Or you can just put your head in the sand and let your reputation form without deliberate thought on your part.

Going back to Nietzsche’s words, I have found very few people who deliberately lie in a hurtful way.  Instead, I find consistent, poorly executed (though often well-intended) behaviors can derail a person’s reputation as badly as, or even worse than, outright lying.

Some of behaviors with the biggest impact on a person’s reputation are centered on making and keeping promises and commitments. Most people make promises with every intention of keeping them. They make promises to themselves, their spouse, kids, employer… But promises are all too often missed and broken. Businesses operate on trust and reliability. The best way to grow a sense of trust and reliability is through keeping promises.

There are many other important factors that make a reputation. However as a manager, business owner and job creator, trust ranks supreme with me. Meeting your commitments in a consistent, reliable and long term manner forms your reputation and how others view your trustworthiness and value. I have discovered that people who are consistently unreliable will quickly damage their reputation and often worse.

Take care when making promises. Keep them all. If circumstances cause issues that might derail them, address them promptly so you can make needed adjustments. Do it before the serious reputation damage is done. How you deal with a promise you cannot meet also weighs heavily on your trust factor and reputation.

In business trust is king. Having a trustworthy reputation is absolutely vital to success, and always being believed is something worthy to be attained.

Jim Ludlow

About Jim Ludlow

A founding father of Liquid, with dozens of published articles, a nationally-recognized personal investment book and decades of sound business practices quietly notched behind his name, Jim’s mere presence conjures a sense of confidence and integrity. He leads by example, encouraging each of us to push harder, continually improve, execute wisely and use our collective talents to bolster client growth.

Published Jul 26, 2013