You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do

Henry Ford

Actions speak louder than words

When I was a teenager, I really wish I had fully understood this saying.  When my first boyfriend said he really liked me, that he wanted to be with me.  All the sweet things he said, and the fact I believed him,  was symptomatic of my complete naivety.   Of course, these years are learning and formative aren’t they.  When he avoided me and eventually dumped me for someone else, I found it really hard to comprehend.  Was he lying when he said all those nice things to me?  If I had known then that actions speak louder than words, I would have been much less confused.   So this tenet is very relevant when thinking about this quote about reputation.  You certainly can’t build a reputation about what you are saying.  It’s all about what you actually do. 

Taking action to achieve your vision or goal

I remember a situation I was in when I first went into business on my own.  I knew what I wanted.  Having the right vision was vital to success.  I spent a long time being clear about the outcomes I wanted to see happen.  6 months down the line, I realised I was not getting anywhere near where I wanted to be.  With some serious reflection, I realised that creating a vision and setting up expectations was simply not enough.  When a lovely woman in my team was asked in a learning session to say some words about me, she said: “Christina has big aspirations“.   I knew it was the best compliment I could have at that time because actually my aspirations were all she had. 

I lived this quote at that time about the fact you can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.  You had to take the action and do what you said.  Your reputation is built on action.  What you do is the proof of the pudding.  Additionally, no vision or outcome will be achieved unless you truly start moving towards it, and prioritising the action you take to move towards it.  Vision without action is just a wish list. 


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