Who would have figured that in 2011 we would have job postings for Chief Reputation Strategists? Well we do and after pondering the topic a bit several things struck me as fundamentally interesting as recently I’ve written on the topic of conceptual building blocks of taxonomies and here lays the obvious symbiosis of the “Brand” to “Reputation“. As this is where the combination of the two begin to take the form of a functional “interrelationship” as each creates a “causal” association with the other.
Our friends at Toyota know all about this (causal relationship)as they spent decades along with billions of dollars in building their “Brand” driving it up by investing in their “reputation” of reliability just to have the rug pulled out from under them for a lack of “reputation” (be it perceived or actual it didn’t really matter) regarding “safety”. Now, one could toss in a fair amount of psycho-babble here that would fit in nicely around Maslow’s Ladder and violating the public on a lower rung which then invalidated success at higher ones, leaving the premise it’s more of a pyramid then a ladder (which it is).
However this isn’t the road which I am exploring in this discussion as here the focus is on the personal “brand” as this is something which appears to have been lost over the past decade or so. Now for some reason it seems to be making a return appearance and one may speculate that over inflated social media hype has completed its contraction phase which had transformed us from individuals into social belonging zombified groups which ply the internet much like schools of bait fish spin about the ocean shoals.
Maybe it’s that the cycle has again come around (everything repeats) just as with the infamous Apple commercial of the human cog breaking free of the machine by tossing a sludge hammer into the face of oppression. Here it could be that our freedom from the “machine” in 2011 is granted my regaining our “reputation” through reestablishing our personal brand as a “person” rather than a group. It also could be that the slogan for 2011 becomes a lone statement of “I am a group of one!“. Yea I kicked around the idea of saying “I’m a group of one, hear me roar” however that was too hokey don’t you think?
Hokey or not, in 2011 you will see the rise of the “person” again and while the person may still be part of the group or contribute to a group they will still maintain a separate identity and “reputation“. Wait, did I just write “reputation“? Sure enough as people can only be “cogs” so long in a grand societal machine before the urge to break free sets in. As the grind, grinds us away and we stand there only to see our freedom fleeting away as we reach for the later years and look back only to say “that was a great group” (not).
Many moons ago a larger then life mentor figure said “Joe, your reputation is the only thing in this world they can’t take from you, only you can take that from yourself“. First off thank you Tony as I have (at least tried very, very hard) to live my life by this mantra and it has served me reasonably well. Yes, there where lesser roads presented in life however even if the “group” never noticed I took a short cut, I would and therefore by “Tony’s” axiom I would have taken away my “reputation“.
The point of all of this you ask? Simple be your Chief Reputation Strategist, as we all need one. Second, stick to the high road you will know you took the low one even if the rest of the group doesn’t and finally make today the day you start!