Whoops. Oops. D’oh!

Multiple missteps or mistakes don’t mix with well with your reputation. A series of bad professional decisions or bad business moves, depending on the nature, size and scope, can damage your reputation so deeply that even a well-crafted apology has little effect on repairing your reputation. And if these missteps or mistakes go viral, be prepared to invest lots of time and money to repair your online reputation. Getting your reputation back into top form doesn’t happen overnight even if it only took one negative event to send you tumbling from grace.

Respect Your Reputation

The truth is bad behavior and bad choices have significant costs attached; costs that have the power to deplete your current resources and diminish your future achievements.  It is best to have a healthy respect for your reputation and for the dynamic environment that surrounds reputation in general. When the reputation bar is set too high, many professionals and organizations find it impossible to reach, never mind maintain a sterling reputation. As sure as you breathe, you will make mistakes in business and in your digital life–just ask Apple CEO Tim Cook!

The Web makes public errors even more challenging to manage. There is no escape key to save you once your private data or professional problems are set free on the Web. Digital mistakes that has gone viral is a beast unlike anything you’ve seen.

Mahatma Gandhi once said

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”

Yes, it is humbling and important to remember that humans are not perfect creatures. It is wise to be mindful that no person is immune to making a mistake. Even in the darkest hours you can choose to examine the deeper issues which led to this crisis of your own making. It’s also humbling and a bit unnerving to realize that errors – mistakes or missteps – made online can live forever, (especially if they occur on a site you have little or no control over). Still, you can choose to allow these experiences that crop up in your life to “teach you” instead of “beat you”. In the end, how you approach the reputation repair will depend on how you perceive the situation before you. I say learn from it rather than be run over by it.

How have you learned from or grown from missteps or mistakes?

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