Economists in the US estimates that 85 percent of a company’s value is tied to its reputation. In an article by Leslie Gaines-Ross of Burson-Marsteller a while back she shows the immense value of a CEO’s reputation. The market capitalization is more or less depending upon this.
According to this research, a CEO’s reputation represents nearly 50 percent of the company’s reputation. Almost all of the financial analysts that were interviewed say that they would invest in shares based on the CEO’s reputation. It is also a key factor for the ability to attract and keep the valuable talents that contributes to the success of the company.
Every CEO are aware of the immense economical value of their reputation, but almost no one are aware of what their reputation really looks like.
I am a great fan of the elegance of simplicity. In my experience after many years of working with individuals around their reputation – success could actually be boiled down into three extremely important questions.
- Do you know your professional reputation – your most important asset? Everywhere you go you will always be second to arrive, your reputation always precedes you. It is the one thing by which everything else revolves around.
- What expectations do you arise? Research shows that today you are no better than your next big thing or your next performance. What is your next big thing – what results do you want to accomplish for your customers or your company?
- What do you want to stop doing? Tom Peters, Seth Godin and Jim Collins have one thing in common when they say that the secret to high performance among individuals is deciding what not to do.
Can it really be this simple that three questions have the potential of deciding your professional future? Considering what is happening today I would say yes. It will profoundly affect your reputation as an individual. Of course you have to work on them, act upon them and you will have to promote the answers in a new way.
Today reputation is on everyone’s lips and there are huge values at stake here, both for the company as well as for you as an individual. As I have written before, economists in the US estimates that 75 percent of a company’s value is tied to its reputation. For you as a leader, entrepreneur or consultant the value will be close to 100 percent.
The last eight years I have focused all my efforts in the are of Your Professional Reputation as an individual and gained a lot of experiences and at the same time looked at results from research. I also see a lot of articles on the subject stating that this will be the cornerstone of the 21st century economy.
The area of Reputation is extremely important and creates so many possibilities. Everyone we meet agrees upon the crucial value of their reputation, but surprisingly few are aware of their own professional reputation. As far as I know nobody has yet written a White Paper about the value of reputation on the individual level so it will be an interesting venture.
My ambition is to share my thoughts, experiences and results from the work that we have done and look at interesting articles and research that has been done. The plan is to have it finished in the beginning of January.
Jag fick senast häromdan frågan av en potentiell kund om vi arbetar med personliga varumärken. Även om vi tidigare tangerat detta ämne så svarar jag idag konstant nej. När vi för några år sedan föreläste om detta, då var det alltid några som protesterade och sa att – jag är ingen produkt eller tjänst, jag är inget varumärke – jag är en människa. Vid ett tillfälle svarade jag att – jag håller med, men du har ett professionellt rykte. Plötsligt så höll alla med och där kom också vårt genombrott. Vi startade en helt ny och spännande upptäcktsresa.
Your professional reputation (använder gärna den engelska termen) är din absolut viktigaste tillgång, det är något alla i dag håller med oss om. Men till skillnad från personliga varumärken så handlar detta inte om vad du säger om dig själv – det handlar om vad andra säger om dig. Detta kan analyseras, det kan utvecklas och det kan konkret och på ett helt trovärdigt sätt marknadsföras. Idag är också reputation något som prioriteras på plats ett av ledare i Europa.
Något som också blev en avgörande punkt var insikten att du blir inte framgångsrik om du inte värderas av andra. Det är andra som ger dig uppdragen, applåderar dig eller sprider ditt budskap. Visst skulle det vara spännande att kunna ta kontroll över den beslutsprocessen.
Once more I lean on a quotation from Tom Peters. ”Stories are more powerful than brands – and the best story wins”. This also goes for you as an individual – your professional reputation is your story that you bring to the world. No data-based test in the world can ever replace that.
Stories are immensely valuable and probably one of the most underestimated business strategies today. Our great challenge as individuals is to communicate our value and facts only work after the emotional connection. You need something that appeals to our feelings – inspiration is pure magic. At the same time, it is not enough just to tell a good story, you have to be one, but today it’s not enough to be a good story – you have to be able to tell it in a way that catches attention.
By the way – are you a storyteller and/or a storymaker.
Jonathan Rick writes in an article in Fast Company that the problem with your bio isn’t the boasting – it is who’s doing the boasting. Profound!
Here, he catches the real strength of Your Professional Reputation – your reputation is not what you are saying about yourself – it is how your talents, strengths and unique qualities are perceived by others. It is in the hands of others – your value is in the mind and feeling of the beholder.
From the moment that you know what it looks like you can take ownership of it and form it. Otherwise you will be blindfolded.
In today’s market, you can’t afford not to take every possibility to find the things that is unique and give you competitive advantages. If you are not 100 percent convinced about every part of your professional reputation, how can you persuade others? In reality, we are hiding a lot of our strengths and unique qualities and by knowing your reputation you don’t have to present yourself as a self-proclaimed guru.
Your expertise is of course important, but by itself it guarantees nothing and if you just lean on your expertise you are in trouble today. You need something to charge it and transform it into action with a successful result. Your potential to achieve this builds upon your experiences, personal strengths and unique qualities in a perfect mix.
All of this comes together in one place – in your professional reputation. Here, you get ”the whole package” presented in a trustworthy way. What your clients are buying is YOU, your PROFESSIONAL REPUTATION and your POTENTIAL to solve her challenges. Ruth Jacobs from Boston University writes:
”In the hundreds of rigorous studies we´ve done on company star performers comparing them with average ones in companies around the world, expertise just never made the difference”.
When I fly, I absolutely prefer to fly with a trained pilot and not someone who is just interested in flying and has a nice attitude. Just being trained doesn’t decide how good a pilot she or he is – or who gets the job as a pilot. There is something else at stake here.
In an article in the finance magazine Economia, it says: “More than three quarters of global finance leaders say they are willing to put reputation before profit for long-term benefit” . I have written before about how 75 percent of a company’s value is tied to its reputation and, it gets confirmed again.
Something that is often missed in this discussion is that a company’s reputation is formed by the employees – today we don’t trust a company, we put our trust in the person we meet. The professional reputation of the key employees will be a dominant factor and a cornerstone in today’s economy.
If you as a leader don’t know your own – and your key employee’s – reputation, you will be blindfolded. There is a huge value at stake here.
Your professional reputation is based on your expertise, your unique personal qualities and your actions, but the heart of it are the feelings that it creates in your professional surroundings.
The exceptional success of the IPhone was initially based on expectations. Millions of people were queuing for it months before it was released for the first time. What expectations will your professional reputation create?
In a workshop in connection with Swedish Open in tennis, the exciting management company Qeep promoted it’s consultants with the taglines that we had put together after analyzing their professional reputation. Of course, the purpose was to arise curiosity and expectation. Their taglines represents both their professional reputation in one sentence and at the same time their pitch for the future – their next big thing.
This was made in collaboration with Carl Rafael Fredson from YouCruit and the picture is taken by Janos Langhorn
This recently updated special report consists of 14 pages with the potential of determining your professional future.
I’m very proud and at the same time humbled by the feedback I got from a Danish reader on this special report:
”This one of the most accessible, positive and persuasive material I have seen for a long time. In business, we see many empty words and concepts, but I will read this material as if it came from a `True Business Angel´. This concept will suddenly add great IRL-value to me”
This gives me great pleasure since I’m constantly exploring the vast possibilities of analyzing and developing Your Professional Reputation as an individual. You can order this special report for free – email me at email@example.com - it’s available in Swedish and English.
Your professional reputation as a leader has a great impact on the success of the company. It determines your ability to inspire employees and customers and to attract investors. One thing that is overlooked is how it can attract the exciting talent that will contribute to the success of the company. Your professional reputation will walk ahead of you in all of those situations.
In spite of all the tests and leadership programs that leaders take part of, most leaders are in my opinion surprisingly unaware of their professional reputation. This is your story as a leader and no data-based test in the world can replace that.
Your professional reputation as a leader is in the hands of others. Most leaders know that their reputation matters and that a good reputation brings so many benefits. Yet most leaders don’t fully appreciate the financial benefits of a good reputation or the huge costs of a damaged one.
In the last issue of VD-tidningen ”CEO Magazine” there is a 4-page interview with me about how we work with Your Professional Reputation on a leadership level. In the same article, there is an interview with one CEO how went through the process. It is very interesting to read about his experiences.
The professional reputation of a leader has a great impact on the success of the company. Naturally, it deals with the development of her leadership skills, but it also determines her ability to inspire employees and customers and to attract investors. One thing that is overlooked is how it can attract the right talent that will contribute to the success of the company.
The work I normally do and love is to analyze, help to develop and promote the professional reputation and potential of mainly entrepreneurs, consultants and leaders. I now also enter a role as Executive Reputation Advisor.
When we analyze a persons professional reputation, we also compress it into a tagline, your professional reputation in one sentence. It is not what you say about yourself, it is what professional surroundings say about you – your perceived expertise, personal strengths and unique qualities. The tagline should also point towards your potential – what you want to achieve for your customers in the near future. Together with a good picture it will be an exciting marketing tool.
A couple of weeks ago a person found one of our taglines that we made for a consultant on LinkedIn, and she was attracted by it, hijacked it and put it on her own profile. But – that never works out, when you meet her you can immediately feel that it is false. Every tagline is unique.
Can you write your own tagline? Of course, but it will never get the same strength and credibility as when it’s made by experts building on your professional reputation. Wall Street Journal had the other day a fascinating headline ”Your resume in 140 characters”. Of course, they were talking about the possibilities with Twitter but your tagline is a very interesting alternative. It is the exclamation point to your story, and the best way to connect your clients to your professional reputation.
Wall Street Journal had the fascinating headline “Your resume in 140 characters“. Of course, they were talking about Twitter and the possibility to market yourself in this extremely limited space.
When we work with analyzing and developing your professional reputation we also include a tagline – your professional reputation (as perceived by others) in one sentence. This tagline will indicate your potential for the future and will be a valuable tool. (Länk)
Also, Forbes Magazine is challenging the traditional resume when writing: “In 2013, the traditional resume will be replaced by the breadth and depth of your professional reputation.” Something truly interesting is happening
I often say that there is no way to put a price on your professional reputation, its value to you is priceless. Sometimes we get the question if someone has actually estimated the real value and two things come to my mind.
The Carnegie Institute of Technology has done research on what creates financial success among technical consultants. The result shows that 85% were depending on their personal strengths and unique qualities and only 15% on their technical background. When you know your professional reputation you get hold of and can develop both. Of course this is the situation for all consultants.
Economists in the US estimate that 75% of the value of a company lies in its reputation. To me, reputation is created by individuals in that company. This is the reason why global PR-agencies are stating that individual reputation will be a dominant factor in the future.
Reputation is the number one when leaders in Europe are asked what is most important today. This is the value at stake – and as Rachel Botsman states ”Reputation is your greatest asset – it will be the cornerstone of the 21st century economy.”
Two decisive key factors today for success as a consultant, entrepreneur or leader are your professional reputation and your potential. What would happen if those two joined forces when you look for new clients and projects? You will get an unbeatable combination.
Your professional reputation is your perceived expertise, your talents and unique qualities. When preparing the report to the individuals we engage with, we also include a summary presentation of their professional reputation in 10 lines as well as a tagline. The tagline is your professional reputation in one sentence and, at the same time, your ”pitch for the future” – your Next Big Thing.
We worked with the consultants and management team for Qeep Inc. and Aqilles Invest. One of the founders, Anders Holm, got the following tagline, put together from his professional reputation: ”Anders is a genuine and inspiring leader who creates the result breakthroughs that seem impossible to others”
This is his ”pitch for the future” – his Next Big Thing. The important thing is that it is nothing that he says about himself – it is how he is perceived by his professional surroundings – it is genuine, credible and attractive. Who would not like to hire him?
90 percent of the decisions about you are made when you are not present – the only thing present is your professional reputation.
These are the moments when your customers discuss if they will offer you that exciting project or job, or when they consider you for new possibilities within the company. These are the moments when you are valued – all these decisive moments in your career and in your business life.
The important question is: Do you want to take control or take your chances – do you know every part of your professional reputation – the things that decide?
What clients care the most about the things that touch, move and inspire them. They make their decisions based on emotions and after that they look for the logical facts that support these decisions.
Inspiration is magically effective and companies that grow more than 15 percent per year do it by inspiring their customers. The question is what creates inspiration since you can’t be trained into being inspirational? It’s hardly the logical arguments that we so often put forward. Instead, it grows out of the magic combination between your talents, passion and ambition. When you know your professional reputation, you also know how to develop these key skills.
Customers crave for inspiration, and they look for people who can inspire them. Do what you love and make the customers love what you do, is probably the best marketing strategy ever. Have a passion of delivering something really good. Stop marketing the things that the customers already assume that you have and market what they are really buying.
Very often we get advice how to land a project, an assignment or a job. Most of the time it is pointed out that your track record is your most valuable asset. At the same time, we see that it is your potential for greatness – the brilliant results that you can create for your client that is decisive. This is also confirmed by recent research (Stanford University and Harvard Business School).
Experience is important, but by itself it guaranties nothing – there is something else at stake here. Your potential is built upon your experiences, your personal strengths and unique qualities.
It all comes together in one place, in your professional reputation. Here, you get the whole picture in a trustworthy way. Please remember that your professional reputation is not what you say about yourself – it is what your professional surroundings say about you. It is without any doubt your greatest asset, considering that you will get hold of “the whole package”.
To me it is important to reflect upon why I spend all this time working with our concept Your professional reputation and I always come back with the same answer. Whether you are a leader, consultant or entrepreneur, I want to turn you into a hero in your field.
If you start to feel an ongoing stagnation in your job or as an entrepreneur and you don’t get what you want from your talents, passion and ambition, your professional reputation will be affected. Are you where you have to be or where you want to be? If you are not where you want to be, you should do something about it! Your professional reputation is at stake here, it’s constantly valued and your greatest asset.
Today it is all about potential. It is crucial that you should not promote yourself by just historical facts. Your potential makes a greater impact than your experience when you are chosen for a project, an assignment or a job. When you know your professional reputation you will also be aware of your perceived potential. This makes the whole world of difference.
After working with more than 800 individuals, analyzing and developing their professional reputation I see what a great impact it makes. It is simple, natural and it’s effective.
Today it is crucial that you should not promote yourself by just historical facts. Your potential makes a greater impact than your experience when you are chosen for a project, an assignment or a job.
Your professional reputation is a very useful tool since it is your potential and includes your perceived expertise, your strengths and unique qualities. Combine this with your ambition – what you want to accomplish in the coming year, and it will be an almost magical marketing tool.
This is probably one of the most important headlines of all my blogs since you will not be successful unless it is valued by others. Your professional reputation is not what you say about yourself – it’s how your talents, strengths, results and unique qualities are perceived by others. If you are not 100 percent convinced about every part of your professional reputation, how can you persuade others?
Most people that we meet today agree upon the crucial value of their professional reputation, but very few are aware of what it looks like and trying to figure it all out on your own is close to impossible Yet, as consultants, entrepreneurs or leaders the greatest challenge is to communicate their value, not only to customers, but also vendors, partners, investors or their own teams.
In today’s market you can’t afford not to take every possibility to find the things that is unique and give you competitive advantages. Today clients won’t tell you when they have lost their trust, they will just stop coming to you.
Your professional reputation is without any doubt your greatest asset. You can now analyze and develop it almost wherever you are in the world. After the process of analyzing it, we will use Skype for our meetings when we look upon how you can develop your reputation to attract new customers or how to take new steps in your career.
At the moment, we work in English, Swedish, Norwegian and soon probably in Danish. We will in due time try to add new languages and train new partners in different countries who realizes how crucial this is to your success.
”There is no way to put a price on your professional reputation, its value to you is priceless”
Storytelling is probably one of the most underestimated business strategies – ever. One challenge for consultants and entrepreneurs is to communicate their value in an effective way and – facts only go so far. Most people care most about the things that touch, move and inspire them. They make decisions based on emotion, and then look for the facts that support these decisions.
This is why potential – your next big thing is so crucial, it talks to emotions, catches our attention and arises curiosity. According to research that I have presented earlier potential makes much greater impact than experience and historical facts.
Your professional reputation is your story and no data based test in the world can ever replace that. When you know what story your professional reputation represents to your clients and colleagues, you can also start do develop it further. What story do you want your professional reputation to tell in six months time, a year and what do you actually have to do?
A while back I started to explain to CEO of an advertising agency about our kind of business. She interrupted me and said: Ah – that’s my credibility – It decides every deal” At that moment I knew that I could not explain it in any better way. Credibility is a vital part of your professional reputation – it is one of the six key factors that form it.
Without trust, the most successful company or individual will be destroyed, and an interesting question is what creates trust. First you should have the passion to deliver with excellence and, as Tom Peters puts it: ”Excellence is not an ambition – it is the next five minutes”.
It is also about being open to new possibilities, constantly learning and not being so sure about things. You have to dare to be on the edge where new ideas are formed, to see new openings and be prepared to be wrong. It is about being consistent, honest and practice what you preach, even if it hurts. To share more what you see, not what you know.
When you know the unique qualities of your professional reputation you should try to live it at every moment in every meeting. To have the ambition of constant improvement since you are never better than your next project
Everywhere you go you will always be second to arrive – your professional reputation always precedes you. If you want to be more successful than you are right now, you need to know your professional reputation because you will always be valued by others. It is others that applaud you, recommend you and hire you. Of course, you can take your chances or, you can take more control over that crucial process.
Your reputation as a consultant, leader or entrepreneur is your greatest asset. Remember that your reputation is not what you say about yourself – it is how you are perceived by others. It is how your clients value your strengths, unique qualities and potential. In the global market, you can’t afford not to take every possibility to find the things that is unique and give you competitive advantages. The price for not taking advantage of your professional reputation is high.
If you are not looking for ambition, passion, sustainability, credibility and the ability to inspire – if that is not on top of your list when you hire, you will never get it.
Today you should seek the irreplaceable that challenge the average – people with passion, ambition and talents, who knows their next big thing. People with potential. For this reason, it is important to consider for a while what individual potential really is.
Potential comes out of the strengths and the unique qualities I indicated above – things that form your professional reputation. Of course, it comes out of your experiences and training. I came into Copenhagen today, flying with Norwegian and when I fly, I absolutely prefer to fly with a trained pilot and not someone who is just interested in flying and has a nice attitude. But – just being trained doesn’t decide how good a pilot she or he is – or has the potential to be.
There are other factors involved here and that is the exciting part and this is something that you really could take advantage today. Soft skills have become hard skills and how well do you know and develop your soft skills.
We hear it from organizations like A great place to work, we hear it from the recruitment industry – actually we hear it from everywhere today, how soft skills have become the hard skills – skills that really matter.
Soft skills like passion, ambition, your ability to inspire, your entrepreneurial mind and your trustworthiness determine your success at work, your career and how you succeed as a consultant, employee or entrepreneur. It determines whom your customers will listen to and whom they will trust. Can anything be more profitable to analyze than this?
Soft skills are a decisive factor, but my great surprise they are something we don´t analyze in a proper way. These are the factors that create your professional reputation together with your perceived expertise and experiences. Remember that your professional reputation is not what you say about yourself, it is what others say about you. The truth is always in the eye of the beholder.
As a top consultant you are your professional reputation. It is formed by your talents, experiences, personal strengths and unique qualities as perceived by others. If you are not 100 percent convinced about every part of your professional reputation – how can you persuade your new clients?
Reputation is No 1 in Europe when it comes to what leaders are giving priority to today, and also multinational PR-companies are stating that individual reputation is a dominant factor. It will determine whom their customers will listen to, trust and choose.
Most consultants realize the utmost importance of their professional reputation, but surprisingly few know what it looks like. When you know every corner of your professional reputation, then you have the opportunity to develop it further and attract the right clients. It will open up great possibilities.
Today clients look for the indispensable who constantly challenge the average – and with the courage to act accordingly. Those who deep in their heart think that they can change things.
Seth Godin, the marketing icon, recently expressed something that I totally agree upon when it comes to personal branding. He said: ”You are not a brand, you are a person with a professional reputation.” Your brand or your name is simply your reputation.
Your professional reputation is your most valuable asset. It’s important however to realize that it is not what you say about yourself, but what others say about you. It can be analyzed and it can be developed and is a process that opens up so many possibilities in whatever direction you are heading. You will not achieve anything memorable unless it is valued by others.
The point is that you will absolutely need trustworthy feedback about your professional reputation – trying to figure it all out on your own is close to impossible.