If You Don’t Make a Name for Yourself, Somebody Else Will

8 09 2010

personal-brandToday I was talking on the phone to a colleague in another market and as the conversation carried on, he said “Hey, remind me at the end of our call to tell you a story…It’s about you and it’s kind of funny.” Naturally, my curiosity was peaked but I put it out of my mind as our conversation progressed.
Sure enough, at the end of our discussion he reminded himself to tell me the story. “Hey, how come you never called Jackson back last month?” “You knew he was interested in seeing if you wanted a change of scenery and come to work in his market.” “Andrew recommended you”.
All I could say was I was flattered, didn’t know this was what he specifically wanted to discuss, and honestly thought Jackson said he was going to call me back. I had never given it another thought since. Then the words rolled of my tongue, “Man, I feel like such a douche bag”. My fellow colleague chuckled…but little did he know I really did feel like a douche bag. It is totally not my style to blow off getting back with someone. I quickly combed through old emails from Jackson and found the one that confirmed that I was the one to call him. I quickly ended the call with the colleague who brought this blunder to my attention and all I could think about was calling Jackson and making things right. Luckily for me, he was still in the office. I apologized profusely, but in the back of my mind I will always wonder if I righted things with him.
Fortunately, those who know me know that I am a “what you see is what you get” kind of person. I pride myself on having my I’s dotted and my T’s crossed. I made a mistake…one not quickly forgotten I assure you, but I’ll move on and make the best of it.
The moral of this story – it is up to each of us to make a name for ourselves. Our goal should be to build a brand and reputation that others seek out, can’t live without, and must have in their organization. If we don’t work hard to build a name for ourselves, then somebody else will. And, it may not be a name we approve of or can shed easily.

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