Is your reputation fit enough for the long haul?

Looking after your health and becoming fit, is very closely linked to looking after your reputation. You need good health to get you through life, and you need a good reputation to support you through your company’s journey. Regine le Roux, founder and managing director of Reputation Matters shares four lessons for building your reputation that can be learnt from physical fitness.

1. You look and feel great! When you are fit and healthy, you feel better about yourself and you are more confident. Isn’t it great when you can fit into those pair of jeans that you’ve been struggling to get into for a while? Your energy levels are better and your outlook on life is generally more positive. There’s nothing that clears your head quite like a good run, cycle or even gym session. You’ll also find that you attract likeminded people with positive mindsets and attitudes.

The same goes for your reputation. When you have a good healthy reputation, you will find that people will want to be associated with your brand and do business with your company. People are willing to spend their hard-earned cash on products and services produced by a company whose values they resonate with.

2. Being healthy protects you from injury. The fitter you are, the faster you will be able to recuperate from an injury or illness. Being fit doesn’t mean that you won’t ever get hurt or sick, it just speeds up the recovery time.
When it comes to a reputation, the healthier your company’s reputation is, the more likely it is to protect you during a crisis. You can’t only start thinking about your health once you are sick or injured; the same goes with your reputation. You can’t start thinking about it only once there is a crisis that needs to be managed. If you’ve put in the work, be it for your own fitness or looking after your company’s reputation you are safeguarding and equipping yourself from serious injuries and major damage during a crisis.

3. There is no quick fix. If you want to run that marathon or finish your first cycling race, you need to put in the practice. No magic potion will get you fit. You need to be consistent in your training habits; it’s all about discipline. You are not going to attempt to run a marathon if you’ve not put in the training. The things that we know we need to do are often neglected, and then we wonder how we managed to get so unfit so quickly, or where those few extra kilograms came from.

There is also no quick fix to building your reputation, especially after a crisis. ‘I was once approached by a company who had been in the media for all the wrong reasons and their reputation had been in absolute tatters. They asked my advice and in the same breath said that they have a marketing budget available to deal with the said crisis,’ shares le Roux. ‘Unfortunately, there were so many other issues at play (lack of values, questionable leadership, and non-existent corporate governance), that no amount of marketing would be able to fix their predicament. They would need to restructure the whole board of directors, introduce ethics as a non-negotiable core value throughout the organisation, and take a long hard look in the mirror before doing any type of external communication,’ adds le Roux. There is no quick fix. You need to put in the work, usually internally first.

4. Measurement is key; you need to measure your progress. As you get fitter, you invest in the right equipment, perhaps by downloading an app or two, and you push yourself to go further and faster each time.  You work on numbers, be it kilometres or kilograms, to track your progress.

It is just as important to measure your reputation. What is the current perception of your organisation by your different stakeholders? Different things will be important to different people. Knowing your reputation score will definitely give you the upper hand around the boardroom table and help you to come up with solutions to take your reputation to the next level.

At ECCO South Africa | Reputation Matters we believe, ‘If you treasure it, you will measure it,’. How healthy is your reputation?

Not sure where to start? Reputation Matters’ Repudometer® research provides organisations with quantified reputation scores that show exactly what is building and breaking down organisations’ reputations. The Reputation Matters mentorship programme also gives organisations access to a team of reputation specialists to help you become the business that people want to do business with.

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