Billionaire Warren Buffet said “it takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”

For a business, sometimes all it takes is one bad press release, a bad batch from the factory floor or one noisy complaining customer. The same holds true for individuals.

I’ve seen it happen time and again.

In times of busyness, when we are frustrated or caught up only in our own difficulties, we often race through decisions without considering their effects. We do not have a crystal ball, but many times we can often know in advance the likely outcomes of how we treat others or choose to act in any given situation.

Action – Most people want to be seen as intelligent, caring and important. But what actions do you take that contradict how you want to be seen?

Write out the top five words you want others to use to describe you. Are you living up to these? Would you say these words about yourself right now? Acknowledge how you want others to see you. Then make sure that is the reputation you are actually creating.

Five minutes is an awfully short period of time!

(No doubt you have seen either a company or person destroy their reputation with one silly mistake. What did you learn from that? Please share by using the comments box.)

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