analytical Q Le Bon Journal Journal Photos Contact
Journal Entries


Bon Journal

Reputation risk: credibility and trust

"Guard your reputation carefully," I advised the young man.

No one ever gave me such advice when I was young. I learned of its importance when I had to select experts to interview and commission people to write for me. Who is truly an expert? But more importantly, how reliable is he or she?

Reputation is what others say about you and what you are known for. Bad news travels faster than good news. So a mistake in your judgment or dealings with others can be costly.

In my first job, my boss proudly declared that he liked to be inconsistent for it gave him flexibility. Inconsistency confuses others and introduces uncertainty. Ultimately, he lost his credibility, and we lost our trust. We couldn't depend on him. He was too inconsistent.

How does one build a reputation? From delivering consistent results on a consistent basis. You can be consistently good or consistently bad. It's a matter of integrity: to say what you mean and mean what you say, to do what you say you would do, and to do it when you said you'd do it.

What about credibility? Are you more credible if you say you are or if others say you are? That's why self-promotion carries that ounce of disbelief. That's why it's easier to promote someone else than blow your own whistle.

And what about trust? How do you trust someone you've never met before? If you belong to the same community, such as a family, a neighbourhood, a company, a school, or a club, and you value your reputation in that community, you would interact in a way that would guard your reputation. It's easier to trust someone in your community than a stranger outside of your community.

If you make yourself trustworthy, such as keeping an online journal to reveal what makes you tick, then it's easier for others to trust you.

2 January 2004 Friday

Related entries:
Portfolio risk
Delivery risk
Branding and reputation
Reputation to lose
Like this entry?
Your comments:
Your email address:
Tell your friends about this Bon Journal entry:
Your name:
Your email address:
Your friend(s):
 (please separate additional addresses with commas)
Your message:

Anne Ku at Ilp in May 2001
Anne Ku

writes about her travels, conversations, thoughts, events, music, and anything else that is interesting enough to fill a web page.
Support the Bon Journal by keeping alive and free. Find out about Sponsorship.