Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest people on the planet, and perhaps the most prolific philanthropist of our time. He has a distinguished reputation not only for his hard work and business acumen but also for his personal frugality and professional integrity.
The Oracle of Omaha is also highly respected for giving something back to society. He has pledged a significant portion of his wealth to charitable causes, and in 2010 Barack Obama awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the US.
A recent infographic from Resume.io has compiled wisdom from Buffett and other highly successful business leaders for much-needed motivation and inspiration in today's uncertain world.
Buffett's classic advice focuses on the importance of maintaining a positive reputation:
"It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that you'll do things differently."
Don't risk your integrity
This statement from Buffett is all about making sure that you stay true to your values, even when faced with challenging and stressful situations. Business is full of tough decisions, so it's really important to keep your head in the heat of the moment.
Buffett certainly leads by example. He built his own reputation over years of diligent effort. From a teenager with a paper route and talent for selling soda for extra pocket money to a self-made billionaire with a vast and varied portfolio of astute ideas and investments, he understands the value of hard work and integrity.
That includes showing consideration and generosity towards others, of course. Buffett knows how to build lasting professional relationships by carefully delegating roles and trusting that the people he works with are capable of getting the job done.
Keep your cool
Buffett's career shows that you don't have to be ruthless and hot-headed to be successful. Far from it, in fact. Your long-term reputation is worth far more than the temptation of short-sighted one-upmanship.
If you're faced with a challenging situation such as a workplace crisis that requires a quick decision, an interpersonal conflict that is causing disruption, or even an exciting business opportunity that needs decisive action, you need to stay calm and not lose sight of the bigger picture.
Patience is a virtue that can be practiced until it becomes naturally integrated into your business dealings. If you are prone to getting agitated or excited, deep breathing exercises may help you to slow down and put things into perspective. This could protect you from making a rash decision that could potentially damage your reputation.
Build a positive profile
Buffett's reputation is founded on his principled and level-headed approach to his personal and professional life. He shows that not only is it possible to be a confident and well-regarded professional without sacrificing one's humanity, but that it is preferable and profitable to be fair in one's dealings with others.
When it comes to building a good reputation, these are some things worth prioritizing:
- Establishing trust, transparency, and fairness
- Offering good value and high-quality products and services
- Treating people with dignity and respect
- Communicating clearly and promptly
- Providing a service to the community
You should treat your business practice as a reflection of yourself, and that means being thoughtful and considerate of how your decisions affect others. If you embrace professional opportunities as a chance to add value to your community, your reputation will reflect your own personal growth.