The nexus of the growth in the ways that you can share information about yourself and the number of opinions that can be developed about you is exploding. While you are working your life away in Dubuque, Iowa, a colleague from another city is reading a blog you wrote. While you are snoring away in Jakarta, India, someone in another time zone is taking a peek at your Facebook page. While you’re stuck in another late night meeting in Paris, France, wondering, “What am I doing here?” a recruiter is starting his day by reading your LinkedIn profile.
Unless you are Superman or Superwoman, you cannot be everywhere at once. In your absence, at some point during the day, someone is thinking and speaking about you. Perhaps you finished a presentation and a few of your colleagues stayed behind to chat about next steps. In the midst of that conversation, comments about you surfaced. Perhaps a group of senior executives is discussing candidates to fill a key vacancy in the organization and you are one of those candidates. Perhaps you are on your way to get a cup of coffee and you hear colleagues speaking about you in a conference room. This “echo” of you that exists in the thoughts and words of your colleagues is your reputation.
You may be wondering, “Can I choose my reputation or is my reputation chosen for me by others?” More on that soon.