Business icon Warren Buffett famously said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it.” But being held in high esteem is not just about your ability to run a successful company; it’s about your character and how you relate to others.
Here’s how top business leaders and Advisors in The Oracles manage their reputation.
From L to R: Grant Cardone, Tim Draper, Raul Villacis, Allyson Byrd, Jason Capital, Gail Corder Fischer, Peter Hernandez, Josh SteinbergerTHE ORACLES
1. Be proactive and address concerns.
Be on the offense. Collect positive posts and testimonials about you and your company. Make it easy for those who do business with you to spread a good word. Build a positive public relations campaign around your work, efforts and contributions.
Treat all complaints as opportunities. With the right approach, you can turn a dissatisfied customer into a fan and a negative post into a compliment. Don’t respond intending to get someone to remove a post. Address their concerns instead. If handled correctly, most people will retract their critique or even post how great you are. —Grant Cardone, sales expert, who has built a $750 million real estate empire, and NYT best-selling author; follow Grant on Facebook, Instagram or YouTube
2. Tackle problems head-on.
Warren Buffett is right about reputation. It can be there for a while and then be gone in an instant. I try to hit problems head-on, immediately. When there is an issue, I go right to the source, ask relevant questions, and bring the issue to light. If you want respect, you should also respect others. —Tim Draper, legendary VC, founder of Draper Associates and DFJ, and author of “How to Be the Startup Hero”
3. Bring value and don’t force the deal.
When meeting a potential client or partner, I always set the intention to bring value, even if we don’t end up working together. My goal is to do more for others than they do for me by serving as a resource to them, even if they’re not a fit for our business. Whom can I introduce them to? How can I send them business?
I’ve had many clients choose to work with me because I didn’t push my agenda. When you focus on what’s more important to others, your reputation precedes you. If you’re genuine and authentic, your ideal client will seek you out. I never try to convince people that we’re right for each other. I focus on bringing value, and if we’re a fit, the natural next step is to work together. Don’t force the deal. —Raul Villacis, CEO of The Next Level Experience, an organization that empowers high-level businessmen to become better leaders; connect with Raul on Facebook and Instagram
4. Be congruent and consistent.
The cornerstones of business are relationships and reputation. Without both, your influence, scalability and leverage significantly diminish. Most leaders internally judge reputation by intention, while the world judges reputation by action. As a leader, ask yourself, “Did I do what I said I would, and do it consistently?”
Reputation is interconnected to your relationship to truth. The underbelly of a poor reputation is that you became a co-conspirator in human failure because people who relied on you were damaged by your ethical breaches.
If you desire to up your reputation — and change the caliber of your relationships — ask yourself, “What’s true for me?” That creates your “North Star.” Three things inspire an omnipresent reputation that speaks beyond your presence: speak your truth, live your truth, and leave a legacy of your truth by teaching others. —Allyson Byrd, renowned sales trainer and founder of The Church of Profit Acceleration, who generated $13+ million in sales revenue for clients in 2018; connect with Allyson on Instagram
5. Engender trust and share your struggles.
Trust is the most valuable currency in the market today. I make a point to always follow through and be authentic with my audience. As a result, people know they can count on me.
If I’m open and honest about the challenges I’m facing — not just the wins and highlights — then our bond is that much stronger. Do what you say you’ll do, share your struggles as often as your wins, and you’ll have a reputation people trust. —Jason Capital, White House top 100 entrepreneur under 30, best-selling author, high-income coach, online marketing expert, and founder of High Status; connect with Jason on Instagram
6. Live with integrity.
I live by this principle: Integrity can never be compromised. If you have integrity, you move through the world in an honest way, doing your best for yourself and others.
I’ve seen people compromise their values to get ahead in their careers. They stay in toxic jobs and walk away from who they really are. Mistakes happen. You’re not always going to get it right — but when you don’t, own it. Then, fix the problem, make amends, and don’t go down that road again. Those who live with integrity always fare better. —Gail Corder Fischer, executive vice chairman of Fischer & Company, a leading global corporate real estate firm that provides consulting, brokerage, and technology solutions
7. Develop a career mentality, not a transaction mentality.
When I was starting out in business, my father told me: “You only have one reputation; protect it above all else.”
I developed a career mentality, not a transaction mentality. My clients’ well-being comes first, not my fees. I will walk away from any deal that does not pass the smell test or seem ethical, no matter how much money is involved. As your reputation grows, so grows your business. —Peter Hernandez, president of the Western Region at Douglas Elliman; founder and president of Teles Properties
8. Don’t overcommit — but always over-deliver.
Many people commit to more than they can actually accomplish because they’re afraid of saying no. This is one of the biggest things that holds us back in business.
I only commit to tasks that are at my “pay grade.” Then I over-deliver in less time than I originally promised. As a result, my peers bring me high-value opportunities simply because they’re confident that I will complete the mission on time — or tell them up front that it’s not for me. —Josh Steinberger, founder and CEO of NextGen Restoration; principal of Driven Acquisitions, a holding company that owns and operates apartment buildings in Ohio; connect with Josh on Facebook