There were two boys in a small town named Danny and Johnny These two boys were mischievous and were always getting into some kind of trouble and it was well known that if any mischief occurred in their town, these two boys were probably involved. One day Danny and Johnny were playing catch with a baseball when Johnny threw the ball over Danny’s head crashing through a stain glass window of the local Catholic Church just as Father Lou was cleaning out the pews from the earlier mass.
Danny split for home and Johnny risked going in to the church to find the baseball. The clergyman, a huge man with a booming voice, confronted Johnny as he entered the church. He held the baseball and shouted” Do you know where God is?” Johnny made no response, sitting there with his mouth hanging open, wide-eyed. So the clergyman repeated the question in an even sterner tone, “Do you know where God is!” Johnny was upset and tense and at a loss for words. The clergyman raised his voice even more and shook his finger in the boy’s face and said let me ask you another way, “WHERE IS GOD?” Johnny bolted from the church ran directly to Danny’s house. Danny brought Johnny in and looked at the out of breath friend and queried, “What’s the matter?” Trying to catch his breath Johnny said, “Pack your bags quick, we’re in big trouble. God is missing and they’re blaming us!”
Your reputation really matters. Poor Danny and Johnny, their deserved reputation for shenanigans made them immediately suspect when bad things happened. When I was younger the Danny in this story could have been me.
Throughout my business career I have had many experiences with individuals, companies and non-profit organizations with unique personalities. They are “branded” as being “brilliant” or not so, by being “outstanding” or not, and by “serving the poor and vulnerable,” or, not really.
How you are “branded” matters. Perceptions become reality. How you are perceived to be through your actions, activities, communications establishes the reputation that is either good or bad, positive or negative.
So, ask yourself some serious questions to test how your organization might be perceived by others, especially, your staff, clients, or customers.
Why are we here? What are we doing to serve/help others? Do we have a personal mission, specific goals and expectations? Are they written down? Do we have a plan? Is it believable and achievable? When we reach our objectives, fulfill our mission have we made a difference in this world? Can we measure the impact? If we were not doing what we are doing would we be missed?
Now, try the same exercise on yourself. Just re-word the questions in the previous paragraph. If you don’t have a personal mission statement, create one. Write it down. hold yourself accountable.