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The Benefits of a Good Reputation in Business

Executive Summary

As the former CEO of one of the world’s leading public relations firms and author of The Power of Reputation, Chris Komisarjevsky understands the necessity for strong character when it comes to business success.

  • If you want your employees to work hard for you, they must first respect you. They need to know that you have both their and the project’s best interest in mind.
  • Passion is contagious. When you put your heart in your work, not only will others want to join in with whatever you’re working on, but your commitment to your work will likely rub on on everyone from your coworker to your boss.
  • Is the reputation that’s proceeded you at work one that you’d like everyone to forget? Start changing that reputation today by being a person of your word. Show those you work with that you’re more than willing to put in the hard work needed to help your team succeed. When they see that your dedication to their success, you just may gain the respect you’ve been hoping to get.

Personal character is what defines you as a unique person. It is what others see as the qualities that you possess as an individual. Even though people with whom you work probably won’t ask you directly, what they really want to know is: What kind of person are you? What is your reputation? What are you made of? Underneath it all, they want to understand your values, especially integrity, fairness, and respect for others. This is especially true for how you deal with those who may hold different views from your own.


You might ask yourself how strong character can work for you in your career. In short, the answer is that others will:

1. Believe in you.

Whether you are fresh out of school or a seasoned manager, when people believe in you, they pay attention to you. This can come in the form of special training or assignments. It can mean that others carry out your decisions and follow the action steps you outline. When people believe in you, they know you have both their own and the project’s best interest in mind. They respond by happily managing, collaborating with, or following what you say and do.

2. Emulate your commitment and passion.

People at any level can be role models. I have known many senior executives who are inspired by someone working under them. When you demonstrate your character over and over again, they know that you are putting all of your energies, talents, and skills to the task. They know you will see things through to the end and tackle even the toughest assignments. You can create a positive outcome by simply showing your commitment and your passion for excellence in everything you do.

3. See you work hard and work hard, too.

Doing any job well means that you don’t look at the clock and tick off the minutes. Use time to the fullest. If the assignment means early mornings, late nights, or hours of traveling, then that is what you do. Be sure that whatever needs to be done gets done. Approach each assignment with a positive attitude and a determination to do the best you can. This level of dedication is invaluable to everyone involved—it is contagious. Your coworkers know that if you are pulling your weight, they will have to pull their weight too. Your boss watches what you do and looks at the results. And if you are the boss, your staff will work to keep up and even surpass your efforts.

4. Respect your judgment.

Because your reputation precedes you, people will expect similar results in the future. If you have a track record for making solid business decisions, if you have demonstrated that you have an area of expertise or skill that has proved valuable in the past, they will come to you to hear your opinion and feedback. They respect your judgment. Your reputation means that your words carry weight—and having a strong reputation gives you a head start and the benefit of the doubt.

5. Want to participate in all your activities.

In the best of situations, people will want to participate in everything you do because of their positive experience with you. If your character shines through your activities, not only are you a solid team player, but you will be perceived as a great leader. People will clamor to get on board. And that can lead to successes that build and make your career dreams come true.


What is reputation if not your personal character, demonstrated by your energy, determination, and commitment to success? That means your character is one of the strongest building blocks for your future. Its strength will see you through all kinds of challenges and make facing them that much easier. The key goal in shaping your reputation is to have your personal character stand as a driving force for everything you do and say. At the same time, your reputation can have a very important effect on others as well. In essence, you also become a role model.


Adapted with permission from The Power of Reputation by Chris Komisarjevsky, copyright Chris Komisarjevsky.

Chris Komisarjevsky

Chris Komisarjevsky retired as worldwide chief executive officer of Burson-Marsteller, one of the world's leading global public relations and public affairs firms, in 2005, after a 35-year career in public relations. He is the coauthor of Peanut Butter and Jelly Management.

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