Reputation vs Character


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“Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.”  ~ John Wooden

As John Wooden so bravely states our focus as leaders should be on our character.  Living authentic as who we really are being in the presence of those we serve.  Sometimes the concern of what our peers, colleagues, friends and family think of us clouds the true authentic nature of our inner soul, which can be hidden where it should shine like a bright light.

I had the pleasure of hearing Carla Harris speak twice in the last 45 days.  If you aren’t familiar with Carla and her work here is a link

Let’s first cover reputation is not the same as perception, which as Carla says is the co-pilot to reality.  Reputation continues to keep us wrapped up in what we have done or accomplished.  As you’ve heard me say many times, “Get over yourself!”  Perception is how others view you. Your strengths, your areas of need, how you treat others etc.  Is who you are being and your true character matching up with the perception of others?

Living authentically is not an easy endeavor as we all know at times when we must take the uncharted course, take risks and take the path where others have not gone all while being accountable to self and those around us.  Consider if you will Steve Jobs and the technology he developed that we enjoy today.  His colleagues acknowledged he was not always easy to work with as he challenged himself and the team to look beyond their comfort zone and due to his perseverance, determination and living his authentic self he built Apple to what it is today.  Remarkable how he changed the lives of so many in how we conduct our daily business.

Pride of ownership and in our relationships and character as a focus (who you really are, how you show up, who we BE) versus your reputation (what others think of you).  Let’s take a moment and explore this.  Remember this is not for the faint of heart.

Why spend a minute of your time “living up to your reputation?”  Another way of thinking is being someone who you were back when?  What does that truly mean to you?

Instead, who are you now, who do you intend to be tomorrow and who in your path will grow with this spirit and intention coming from a place of love vs fear of not being who you were.  Let go of the reputation.  You are good today, yes?  Then let’s be great tomorrow.  Build on your existing character.

I know my authentic character, who I BE in all walks of my life will be my living legacy that I will leave behind for my two most important beings in my life, Brooks and Jackson.  They are watching me today and not worrying a lick of who I was yesterday.


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