WHETHER it’s good, bad or indifferent, your reputation goes before you. Like a fine wine, a good one takes time to develop and can be nurtured. A bad one – as jewellery retailer Gerald Ratner famously found to his cost in 1991, when he described his own products as, well, not very good – can take weeks, months, years or a lifetime to overturn.
A good reputation can be associated with honesty, respect and truth. A bad one can be a damning indictment on you as a person or on your business.
Simon Jones is an expert on, in particular, how reputation and its implications can have an adverse reaction on the company’s bottom line.
His enthusiasm for the subject is infectious and he will share his thoughts at Naked Leader’s annual Leadership Conference in October.
Simon’s mantra for success in business is to be truthful and honest, integrity being high on his list of ‘must-haves’ as a leader with any substance.
Simon, is a director of Chimegroup and has been working with Naked Leader and founder David Taylor for around 12 years.
They remain firm friends, despite their sporting interests clashing in that Simon supports Liverpool and David, Everton. Simply, it means Simon is inherently happier, while David…well…let’s just say sometimes the truth hurts!
Simon’s philosophy ties in to Naked Leader’s ethos in that we should all be the best person we already are – while being that person can go a long way to giving yourself a good standing among your work colleagues and peers.
So, as well as practical how-tos that can be applied to any organisation, very fast, what will he be sharing with delegates when he closes the day as a speaker at Naked Leader’s big day, in what is sure to be a show stopper?
‘I’ll be sharing my thoughts on reputation and how that impacts a business, in particular its finances,’ he explained. ‘Reputation is about what you say, it’s what you do and it is how you are perceived. It is, in effect, how you are judged by others, their judgement of you.
‘Your reputation falls into the hands of other people and it’s more prevalent these days with social media, where one click of a button can ruin a person’s credibility by something that’s said.
‘So although a good reputation is not something that happens overnight, you can lose it in a second.”
Speaking the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is something Simon advocates and for him, honesty is not only the best policy, it’s a sure-fire vote winner.
‘The truth is the bedrock of a good reputation,’ he adds. ‘It’s about whether people believe in you, trust you. Truth and trust determine the reputation you have.
‘Your reputation affects you, your team and everyone who works close to you.
‘As a commercial operation, is not about being savvy, or trying to spin things in your favour, it is about doing what’s right.
‘You just have to do the right thing.
“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
‘It’s a simple value that you want to live your life by. From a personal perspective, in Naked Leader you are encouraged to be the best you can be, by being true to yourself.
‘That’s where I come from in meeting with Naked Leader. I am a branch leading into David trunk.
‘Your reputation is evolving all the time, it’s in constant flux, with every measurement of time, it can change depending on how you act.
‘Do the right thing, do it when people are looking and do it when when nobody is looking. Then you won’t go far wrong.’
As for David, he is thrilled Simon has agreed to speak at Naked Leader’s flagship event in London and added: ‘Simon is an extraordinary man. He comes up with more ideas in half-an-hour than others can in half a year.
‘For him to be the closing speaker at our Conference is the coup of the year. He doesn’t normally do speaking events so we are honoured. In terms of reputation, branding, how to win customers through your brand, he doesn’t just know it, he is the master of it.
‘If it wasn’t for Simon, we as a company wouldn’t be where we are today.
“Not least, Simon introduced us to China which was massive for us. In that country he is known as the western Budda as he is the personal assistant to Chinese leaders.
‘If you want to know about branding, reputation and being a force for good then you will learn more in 45 minutes from Simon than you will anywhere else for the next 45 months.’
No pressure Simon – over to you – your reputation precedes you!