small change: your reputation


small change 


Ciarán Fenton

How small changes in your behaviour will have a big impact on how you work, lead or follow

That’s the working title of a book I’m writing, initially as a series of short blogs.

Blog 1 small change: seven principles

Blog 2 small change: your career is a unique business

Blog 3 small change: your soft balance sheet

Blog 4 small change: your D Liability

Blog 5 small change: your timeline

Blog 6 small change: your formative years

Blog 7 small change: your A asset

Blog 8 small change: your career equity

Blog 9 small change: your curriculum vitae

Blog 10 small change: your emotional intelligence

Blog 11 small change: your reputation


Seven principles

Principle 1

Your career is

  • a unique business,
  • one over seven billion in its uniqueness


Blog 11  small change: your reputation

your-career-equity pr

Your reputation is the third and final component fo your career equity.

In my model, I call it “your PR” as in the “public relations” of the business of your career, since your career is a unique business.

Do you know what your reputation is?

When I ask clients this question a surprising number, to me at least, don’t know what the reputational consensus of third parties is about them.

Does it matter what others feel about you?

Some people don’t care. Famously, according to some historians, Margaret Thatcher lost her beloved job as PM, tearfully, in part because she failed to care what her MPs felt “in the tearooms”.

More recently, in a BBC documentary on Theresa May, one of her close advisers said: “What people don’t understand about Theresa is that she genuinely doesn’t care whether you like her or not”.

So many people do very well indeed by not caring about their reputation, but only up to a point.

For most of us, however, we have to care and indeed at an ethical level, we should care. We live in a society – despite Mrs Thatcher’s incorrect assertion that “there’s no such thing as society” – and to function in it we at least need to understand the impact we are having.

In career terms, therefore, if you don’t know what your reputation is, then it’s in your interests to find out.

It’s easy: just ask enough colleagues what people say about you behind your back until you are clear on the consensus.

Usually, you’ll find they are saying something like “you are great at x, y and z but…”

What’s your “but”? It will be behavioural and you need to know.


Ciaran Fenton



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