Every blog should have a target audience. My audience for V1Again.com is my 2 sons. I write about entrepreneurship because I want them to learn about how their father analyzed situations when they are older and can understand. I do not target investors or other entrepreneurs with my blog, but hope they enjoy it too. With that said, below is an open letter to my sons.
Your Name is Everything
If there is one piece of business advice that I hope my son’s follow it is that your reputation is your most important asset in business. Nothing else matters nearly as much. Nothing!
You will be challenged
Throughout your business career, you will face many moments where your reputation will be challenged. You will have hard decisions to make. I have learned that there is a way to make these hard decisions feel easy. Just follow this simple rule, “know what is the most important criteria and manage the fallout from everything else.” And I am telling you very clearly that the most important criteria is what protects your reputation. Everything else can be managed. Actually, if your reputation is sterling, everything else is easy.
There is no Grey
There will be times when you will feel that “making this decision (that screws someone over) is not such a big deal.” He will get over it. But there is no Grey if the goal is a great reputation. Everything is black and white. Be honest and upstanding and handle yourself professionally at all times.
Don’t burn bridges
At the top levels, the business world is really small. Leaders of organizations and industries all know each other and generally trust each other’s character judgements. So when you make a change, always make it with the mind of doing the right thing for your current team/boss.
It Will Come Back in Unimaginable Ways
When you are a young worker, you have no idea how you will benefit from a great reputation and great relationships. It is easy to get caught up in the tactical aspects of a career. But don’t lose focus. Always build great relationships and maintain an impeccable reputation and it will pay itself back in ways you can’t possibly imagine.
No one is perfect
While the goal is perfection, it is not attainable. I have made many mistakes in my career. But I try very, very hard to maintain consistency in treating everyone I do business with fairly. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Apologize to that person. You will gain more than you lost. It is never to late to do the right thing.
If you are reading this my sons and questioning the level of importance that I am using…please, please, please trust me. On this, I am sure.