Over the last week, I have been thinking about reputation. I have a close friend who is beyond reproach and a very ethical person who takes a hit professionally. It has shaken them; they are struggling personally; however, has it impacted them professionally? Then I received a phone call from one of the people I mentor, and they told me how their office was turned upside down, and they were let go, and their boss was fired. As emergency management professionals, we are in the spotlight at times. Brock Long was called the floor of the capital and defended the hard-working men and women of FEMA. The COVID response opened many questions about what emergency managers do, how they function, and the reporting structure. The City of Los Angeles was in the news because of the after-action report that was honest but not flattering.
As a person who lives in the public light, I am sure some of you may sometimes disagree with me. I do not expect all of you even to like me. I hope not personally; however, I try to be empathic and open to other people’s views. The problem with reputation is that one person that may not like you can do damage, spread hate, and miss information. That is what my friend is dealing with today. Then the question is, do you trust their leadership and judgment? This is where the value of leadership and reputation can be measured differently.
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