Performance versus Values – The Role of Reputation

We are witnessing the balancing act between performance and values on the front page of our newspapers every day.

The demand for returns and increasing performance has led to bad decision making in our banks where people have shelved values and ethical behaviour and taken short cuts to boost performance.

At elite levels in our sporting community we are seeing people blindsiding the fundamental value of sportsmanship by taking drugs to gain an advantage, from Ben Johnson testing positive for steroids after winning the 1988 Olympic 100 metre final through to Lance Armstrong doping to win the Tour de France seven times.

Has the lure of the dollar outpaced our own inner values and driving society down a path of winning at all costs. Does “all costs” mean we can cheat?

Trust in our institutions, whether they be political, business, sporting or religious institutions, is deteriorating. Society is shifting its view even against a backdrop where some would argue that society’s values are decreasing.

This is a worldwide trend. Some argue that this is the rise of “individualism” as against the idea of a public good. Others argue that altruism has placed greater focus on the role of institutions to deliver the “public good” in society and what people are seeing is not to their liking.

In this context reputation bubbles to the surface.

Developing a brand, a reputation or image which stands with integrity, in this day and age, is the single most important factor for consumer buying decisions.

Consider that “word of mouth” is the leading influence of what impacts consumer’s opinion of a company. How customers feel about a product or service is the most important determinant of whether or not they will purchase.

The greatest impact of word of mouth and how customers feel is reputation!

So why then are individuals, teams and companies willing to sacrifice their own values, reputation and self-esteem to chart a course in an attempt to get that little bit extra performance?

Is that really winning?



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