We want to have a good reputation

I listened to a talk today by Ken Schmidt, the communications director who helped Harley-Davidson out of bankruptcy in 1985 and helped it become the colossus it is today.

He suggested every person or organization has to answer three questions.

What are people saying about me/us?

What do we want them to say?

What are we doing to get them to say it?

It’s a unique set of questions.

First, what other people say has power. We want to have a good reputation. We want people to be able to describe us in distinctive, empowered terms. It’s so much better to have others toot your horn than someone else.

Second, what’s being said should match up to what you wish. If there’s a gap, you have work to do.

Third, what you are doing should lead to the goal you have in mind.

“Doing” is so much better than lip service.

So, it’s a simple sequence. Be aware of your reputation. Is it what you want it to be? What’s your plan to make it so?