Worry about your character, not your reputation because your character is who you are and your reputation is what people think you are – Anonymous

In the beginning of your career you work diligently to establish a reputation from a specific quality.  Honesty, integrity, loyalty, generosity as examples that can also be argued as fabric of your character.  These are qualities that set you apart and stimulates conversations amongst others.  You have demonstrated them as visible characteristics.  You must take ownership of this developing reputation and make it known subtly to build it slowly and progressively with a solid foundation based in work ethic and an attention to detail.

A developed reputation increases your aura and expounds upon your strengths.  You must respect the reputation you have built because it can also produce an over-whelming presence that can even create fear.  The German general Erwin Rommel fighting in North Africa in World War II had a reputation for deceptive maneuvering and was known for being cunning.  While his forces where depleted and British tanks outnumbered his five to one, villages and cities would still evacuate with the news that he was headed in their direction.

Your success is destined by your past accomplishments.  Reputation is a keystone of power.  Through reputation alone you can lay the groundwork for victories but once your reputation slips you become exposed and vulnerable and will be attacked on all flanks. Always be on the alert for potential attacks as your enemies will look to open wounds and then stand aside and let public opinion pour salt.

If your reputation becomes tarnished it is a long and arduous road back.  Decades of positive accomplishments and deeds damaged by a single disastrous moment. Re-establishing will be difficult. Often a step back from the position you had attained is prudent and associating with someone whose image counteracts with what you are experiencing by associating with their good name will elevate you back to your previous level.  Your reputation is a prize and it must be cherished and cared for.  When you have developed confidence in your reputation do not allow yourself to be defensive to slanderous events and comments as that will reveal insecurity, not a belief in who you are. 

Your reputation is critical without exception.  Not caring what others think of you will tag you as arrogant but that can be played to your favor and many have done so such as P.T. Barnum and Oscar Wilde but since we live in a society that depends on others opinions, there is nothing to be gained by failing to cultivate your reputation in a positive manner.  If you are remiss in caring as to how you are perceived, you are allowing others to decide this for you. 

In the visible world of a leader and coach, particularly a head coach, appearances are the measuring stick of nearly all judgements and you must never think otherwise.  A single false step, one awkward encounter, an altered appearance, can prove disastrous.  Believe in your character and protect yourself, making and maintaining your reputation that is of your creation.  If you have established yourself, those that believe in you will provide you the opportunity to be associated with them again and you will rebuild.

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