Focus on developing good character.
Your reputation is external. It is purely based on what other people think of you. This means that it will be subject to the filter of other people’s lens, perceptions, and to some degree motivations. There perspective of you will be more about how they see you in relation to THEM. This is out of your control.
Some of the nicest, best people I know have people that don’t like them and don’t speak highly of them. I could be crass and say, that it doesn’t matter..the people that don’t like great people are probably not the kind of people who’s opinion you care about…but I won’t say such a thing:-)
Is you reputation important? Of course it is. And you want your reputation to be impeccable if possible. You want to be seen as a nice, honest, respectful person, who can be counted on, and is great at what you do. But you have to know that you cannot force this reputation on people. You cannot buy it. You cannot inherit it. You earn it.
How do you earn it?
It’s easy. Focus on being a person of good character. Consistently treat people well. Consistently keep your commitments. Consistently demonstrate high integrity. Consistently perform at the highest level you can….do you get the picture?
My friend Paul Welliver was the first person I heard say “repetition, repetition, repetition, reputation.”
It takes a little while for people to trust that you are who you purport yourself to be. So in this context the answer is:
Good character, good character, good character, good reputation!