This week I have been thinking a lot about reputational harm, and how a leader's reputation proceeds them.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, our reputation proceeds us into a room like a forward-facing shadow. If people look forward to your arrival, or dread it, is up to you. Reputational harm occurs when you completely neglect that reputation.
Some people I know once expressed to me some concerns about another leader.
That leader has a reputation of being confrontational, awkward, and unresponsive to feedback. That is the shadow they cast.
I had not met that person yet, but when I met them for the first time, their reputation turned out to be 100% accurate.
Leaders need to be very mindful of this, more so than other people, as leadership is ultimately about influence, and your influence erodes as your reputation erodes.
A leader needs to guard their reputation carefully: its better to be a diplomat than a dictator.
In my life, I have a small list of people I will do anything to help, and even smaller list I actively dislike, and I am indifferent to everyone else.
People with bad reputations end up on A LOT of people's "actively dislike" lists, which means they will meet a lot of push back in life.
Some people relish that conflict, but the fact is having a lot of resistance in life will require you to spend extra energy to achieve the same results.
That's not a sustainable strategy long-term.
It's better to have the majority of your colleagues working with you, instead of against you, unless you enjoy the extra effort to get anything done.
A bad reputation lingers like a bad smell, and has a way of following people from company to company.
What I am working on this week:
five.today : I fixed an issue with the password reset email.
greppr.org : now at 1.5m web pages indexed, but it is too slow. Nutch is only using a single CPU core, and I may need to deploy on multiple machines to get it to scale.
Media I am enjoying this week:
"Silo" on Apple+
Currently reading: "A Case of Conscience" by James Blish.
File details: 16.5 MB MP3, 11 mins 26 secs duration.
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