A good name is more desirable than great riches. Prov. 22:1
Your name is your most valuable professional asset. It is worth far more than your degrees, position, or title. Yet it’s astonishing how many trade their name, values, and reputation for shortcuts, easy money, and promotions.
In other words, too many suffer long term stains for short term gains. It happens most to those who do not prepare. They pay little attention to reading, self-reflection, meditating, and planning. They just do it. A very dangerous proposition.
Those who trust in their ability to be agile over preparation fool themselves. Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” Sooner or later, your preparation or lack thereof will shine through. True agility performs from a trusted stage or better stated, foundation. Agility is not a virtue. It is a skill that is only as good as the character it is built upon.
For example, you know you are heading into a tough week. You hope things go well but you still haven’t realized that hope is not a strategy. You have failed to rehearse what you are willing to do and say and what you are not willing to do or say. Under stress you say something you wished you hadn’t; you did something you wish you could take back; you promised something you cannot or do not want to keep. You’re in a mess and then it happens, you have tarnished your name.
The words fast-paced and agile are cool and shiny in today’s marketplace. We even have agile training and many job ads fish for those willing to work in a fast-paced environment. The attractive idea of being agile falls down when in reality it is a cleaned up version for knee-jerk decision making. The adrenaline-rich culture of fast-paced expectations fall down when it is camouflage for a cultural cancer that threatens a person’s emotional, intellectual, physical, or relational health.
Beware of cultures that devalue people and the kind of environments that cultivate growth and health. You alone cannot transform an unhealthy culture. Eventually, you will be the one depreciated to a point where you have forgotten what matters most – your name.
What’s true for us as individuals is also true for our companies. Today, we call it branding. Though we employ people to strategically establish our company brand; in real time, it has already happened. Our name is known far beyond a logo or a Jingle. It is known by what we do and how we do it. The company name is despised, ignored, or trusted.
You’ve probably heard that trust is the speed of business. What that phrase actually means is that trust increases the speed and profit of business. When you’re trusted, you have a good name and an amazing advantage for profit.
We can say much more on the topic of profit but this article was not conceived for that purpose. Let’s state a short platitude until we can revisit this topic another time. Financial profit is the child birthed from a clear mission that meets the need of the customer. The company mission is the middle name of the company brand. If you have a good name, it will lead to financial profit in the long run.
Many reading this article have made mistakes and as a result, tarnished their name. We’re human and mistakes is what we do. Now what?
A good name and a solid brand can be restored. It requires making amends. Do what you need to do to make things right. It is the work of reconciliation; literally, setting a broken bone. It requires honest intention, attention to detail, and follow through. In the end, sincerity and consistency restores. Don’t cover up your mistakes. Don’t cheat others. Don’t take short-cuts. Do what needs to be done and then some. Take time to think and work on you. You are a valuable asset to this world.
Finally, always remember how long it takes to establish your good name and how quickly it can be destroyed.