Reputation: The beliefs or opinions that are generally held about someone or something; A widespread belief that someone or something has a particular habit or characteristic.
If you want to be a CEO or lead a communications, marketing or branding function in a big company, get comfortable with managing risk – even if nothing obvious about your job involves “formal” risk management beyond reputation risk.
Everyone who works in a business or professional setting is a risk manager since the 2008 financial crisis and the ensuing fallout. That task can longer be delegated to financial managers, actuaries and other specialists.
This is particularly true for corporate communications and public relations professionals, who in today’s lean, flat firms are often the only mid- to senior-level people with horizontal views of their firm’s businesses, operations, IT and other functions – and how those groups work together to serve customers and generate profits.
Controlling risk may be out of our hands, but recognizing potential gaps and escalating concerns to the decision-makers who can effect necessary change distinguish leaders of companies and businesses from leaders of communications functions.
In this environment, ambitious corporate communications and public relations professionals must embrace risk as entrepreneurs and other business leaders do if their goal is to truly lead companies, influence boards and executives, and build businesses.
According to Reduce Risk By Seeming Risky by Dileep Rao, “Risk is a four letter word.” Though he explores the subject from the perspective of entrepreneurs, Rao’s article on Forbes.com is relevant to anyone who doesn’t “have the resources in time or capacity or money” to diversify – or delegate – financial and operational risk as banks, insurers, investors and executives can.
That sure sounds like my professional experience, as well as those of my fellow corporate communications and PR colleagues.
What do you think?
“The ideal leader was the one who was trying to make himself dispensable.”
— John Cleese, Harvard Business Review, March 2014
Call it emotional intelligence, EQ, likability or just plain humility, reflecting periodically on one’s life can do wonders for a reputation.
Perspective is an amazing thing. Success may be helped by one’s class, social status, ethnic background or other factors, but it rarely happens without hard work and perseverance. Likewise, smart, passionate and well-connected people sometimes fail in their ambitions.
Life clearly is easier for some than others, and keeping that in mind when interacting with diverse people ensures we put our true — and best — selves forward, even when we may not be at our best.
For those of us who know success and relative prosperity, INSEAD professor Gianpiero Petriglieri’s blog for the Harvard Business Review examines the impact of Privilege and offers advice on how to share one’s individual privileges, no matter how large or small, with the world.
What do you think?