“Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! … Write them deep within your heart. Then you will find favor … and earn a good reputation.” Proverbs 3:3-4
Coach John Wooden said, “It takes a lifetime to build a reputation and a second to lose it.” I love John Wooden. His wisdom is legendary. He has delivered many a “wall hanger” when it comes to quotes. This is another one. I have personally used it dozens of times as a coach and parent.
Coach Wooden was absolutely right; well, almost absolutely.
Rarely does a single instantaneous decision lead to utter ruin of reputation, of finances, of relationships, of life. Almost always a series of decisions led to the final decision which destroys a reputation or any of the other things.
An upstanding businessperson rarely goes from trustworthy accounting practices to embezzling funds or robbing from shareholders in a day. A happily married woman rarely leaves the house one day and ends up in the arms of another man moments later. A vivacious, engaged young person rarely decides in an instant that life is no longer worth living and makes a one last fatal decision.
Given that reality one could actually say, “It takes daily decisions to be loyal and kind over a lifetime build a good reputation…”
If you want to be respected and build influence, choose daily to find ways to share loyalty and kindness. We control whether we are building or destroying our reputation. We exercise that control through our decisions.
What is one choice toward loyalty and kindness you can make today that will change your trajectory in the area of building your reputation?