Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Law 5: So Much Depends on Reputation. Guard it with Your Life.

I haven't written in forever, but a recent conversation caused me to look toward my favorite behavioral guide once again.

Law 5 :: So Much Depends on Reputation. Guard it With Your Life :: Reputation is the cornerstone of power. Through reputation alone you can intimidate and win; once you slip, however, you are vulnerable, and will be attacked on all sides. Make your reputation unassailable. Always be alert to potential attacks and thwart them before they happen. Meanwhile, learn to destroy your enemies by opening holes in their own reputations. Then stand aside and let public opinion hang them.

My mom always emphasized the importance of being a lady. She cringes when she reads my blog more often than not. What can I say? I keep my legs closed, my fingers tapping, and my mouth yapping. My words are my friskiness. My twitter, however, could be my demise.

Recently I read an excerpt from David Blasberg's new book Classy. He describes that one of the best things about class is that no matter how much you slip, you can always regain your footing. Blasberg uses Drew Barrymore and Angelina Jolie as examples. These women were crazy, but when they were ready to shape up, the world accepted their current drive and beauty as their reputations. I like Nicole Richie. Sometimes you have to wild out to shape up. I believe your former title only pales in weight beside what you currently do.

My supervisor asked me what I ultimately wanted to be known for professionally. I'm still uncertain, really. I want to be this amazing television host who was known for being real, relatable, and relevant. The question is, do you see that in me now? Do you think you could take me seriously as I report on gun crises in urban areas? Would you only tune in to hear me chat with sex experts? The question with reputation remains, are you building the picture you want people to remember?

If not, there's always time.

The beauty of life is that as long as you have it, you can always live it. You can always build with time, and you can steadily shape and protect your reputation. Even if you don't see me right now as the host I believe I will be, you'll turn eventually.

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