Reputations are no longer built on a “Do What I Say, Not as I Do” mentality.

You take your careers very seriously. You pour a great deal of energy into cultivating your relationships and growing a network of professionals you either work with or hope to work with. You spend countless hours combing through your online resumes and profiles. You want to be taken seriously, to be considered credible and influential. You fine-tune your communication skills and polish your presence both, online and in person. But, what happens when you are off the clock?

Your reputation is built on you, both in and out of the office, both in person and online. Credibility is built on consistency and you can only be consistent in your behavior and actions when you are mindful every day and in every circumstance. There is always someone seeing you or watching you.

“Just because you sit behind a screen does not mean you are not seen”

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and company, all these online social media platforms create a way for you to communicate with those you want to be connected to. Your reach does not stop there. These mediums also communicate to the entire world who you are. Just because you sit behind a screen does not mean you are not seen. Today, more than ever, always be mindful of what you post online. Political commentary, strong opinions, excessive personal information and activities may cast our reputation in a negative light. Your posts and comments can be easily misconstrued.

If there is any doubt in your mind when writing a post, do not post it. If your posts are anything other than informative, educational or inspiring, if they fail to convey a message kindly, refrain from posting them and sharing them altogether.

“A good reputation, trust and credibility are built on consistency”

We all deserve to let our hair down when we step out of the office. However, always keep in mind that there is always someone seeing or watching you. You must always protect your personal and professional reputation. Behavior that causes others to question your persona authenticity can jeopardize your reputation.

A good reputation, trust and credibility are built on consistency. It is only when your behavior is consistent in and out of the office, that people will really trust you and believe that what they see is the real you. Always be mindful and know that everyone is everywhere.

“It is a small world; people talk, and others listen”

Your reputation is the result of the collective experiences and interactions you maintain with people outside of the office. How you communicate in and out of the office is what shapes your reputation, not the moments you are in the spotlight. If you fail to communicate with consistency, those you influence will fail to do so, too.

Today, even if they do not know them, when there is a decision to be made, most of the people will act upon the recommendation of others. People talk, and others listen. Whether during a high-stakes meeting or during a casual conversation, always be clear and concise. Focus on your body language and be an active, intentional listener. When you make others a priority, they will do the same for you and those who matter most to your success.

“In today’s world, there is no more such thing as privacy”

Our modern-day world does not allow us to compartmentalize our lives anymore. In this world of constant observation, our words and daily actions, all these things that build a reputation are broadcast for the world to see. Individual and professional reputations are no different than major corporations’ reputation.

Consider some highly regarded names, names like Buffet and Gates. They are consistent in their messaging and delivery. They walk their talk throughout all aspects of their brand. Their reputations are well managed.

The fact is, that you cannot manage your reputation through a one-time branding campaign. You must develop it through consistent behaviors that create trust in those who know and observe you. You cannot just say something is important; your actions must reflect it.

Reputations are no longer built on a “Do What I Say, Not as I Do” mentality.

Consistency is key to credibility.


J. Michael Dennis is a former attorney, a Crisis & Reputation Management Expert, a Public Affairs & Corporate Communications Specialist, a Warrior for Common Sense and Free Speech.

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