Saturday, September 29, 2012

What is your reputation worth?

Viewed a thoughtful TED presentation by Rachel Botsman recently and she was discussing the value of an individual's reputation.  She presented a 20 minute summary of several years of her research into reputation capital and the value of trust - which is the 'coin of the realm' in the naval officer community.  Rachel Botsman's ideas have been included in "10 Ideas That Will Change The World".  That's a pretty heavy endorsement - even for a recognized thought leader on the power of collaboration and the power of sharing.

She defined Reputation Capital as the worth of your reputation - intentions, capabilities and values across communities and marketplaces.

She examined the question of who trusts you and why they trust you in specific communities and marketplaces.  She talked about contextual reputation and why that is important. Her research has taken her far enough to allow her to develop a reputation dashboard.  Imagine how your performance might change (IMPROVE) if you knew and understood that your subordinates, peers and seniors had input to and could view your reputation dashboard.

I can see some real value in her work as it might relate to what the Navy is trying to accomplish with 360 degree feedback.  I like the idea of contextual reputation and our ability to put an officer's/Sailor's reputation into context (i.e., He's a great ship handler but he's a womanizer.  She's an awesome linguist but a lousy supervisor.  He does great with the Sailors but he cheats on his wife.  He's the best cyber network operator but he's an alcoholic.)  I'm more of a whole Sailor/person advocate but there are plenty of folks in our business who are completely satisfied with looking at things from a compartmented, single dimension (e.g., 'gets the job done') perspective.  I just can't get there from here. 

Some really decent thinking HERE from The Navy's Grade 36 Bureaucrat.


Anonymous said...

How about an alternative to the personal and ethical problems you cite:

Sure, he/she has ALL of the checks in the blocks--multiple major staffs, Joint/JPME 1 & 2/JQO, masters and all the correct "made man" jobs, but he/she has a reputation as a crummy leader/manager/pilot/SWO/nuke/whatever....

We've spent far too many years defining and over-emphasizing one's breadth of portfolio versus its depth. At the root of it all--and in keeping with ADM Harvey's farewell email lamenting the disproportionate rise of the business case panacea--we have forgotten that our selectees must be good leaders of people, good managers of processes and competent operators capable of leading their commands from the front.

You can't necessarily weed-out all of the ethical deviants, alcoholics and chowder-heads but you CAN reinstitute an emphasis on one's professional reputation and experience that focuses on Fleet first, and bureaucracy in a distant second (without silly tests).

Anneli Kershaw said...

Some very important and interesting points. I once attended a lecture and work shop for a ladies' group about "What is your personal brand name, and how much is it worth?" The entire experience was a true eye opener into what people stand for and also about the perception of what people stand for.

from Sweden

Curtis said...

I don't want them if they do not do the job to my satisfaction. My standards were the Navy's back when it was a professional war fighting outfit and not a leadership cult keeping up with the Kardashians and diversity.

In an officer or Petty Officer, leadership is a big part of the job and so is job accomplishment on time, on schedule and within budget with none of our blood shed in the endeavor.

As long as their off duty behavior is not illegal I just don't care what they do. Womanize, drink, smoke, drugs, use their government issue credit cards to buy pizza--I don't care as long as the jobs are done, people are not unhappy, the tasks get done on time and the bills are paid in full at the end of the period.