Reputation sits at the heart of Social Leadership: it’s earned within our communities, through the actions that we take, and, if we earn it well, it acts as the foundation of our Social Authority. But reputation is not carved from stone, it’s not cast in iron. It’s fluid, adaptive, responsive, responsive to our actions. It’s a work in progress.
If we earn a strong reputation, through kindness, fairness, humility, a willingness to do what’s right, not just what’s easy, then, in turn, our community will help us to be more successful. We are stronger because of the support and alignment of our community, not because we use or abuse it, and certainly not simply because of any formal power given to us: formal power does not carry weight in social communities.
So, when we consider our reputation, we should consider how we earn it, and how we maintain it. We should always view it as a work in progress.