Two hundred and forty years ago this week, our forefathers brought forth on this continent a nation built on the singular concept of self-reliance and fortitude to stand alone against life’s storms. It was an optimistic belief system that promised unlimited opportunity, and that made it beguiling.
Whether it was ever realistic is a question for another place and another day.
What is clear is that as society became larger and more complex, we all became more reliant. Everyone cannot possess every skill. Doctors need plumbers, and plumbers need doctors. The same is true with business executives, lawyers, financial wizards and every other profession and trade. And, yes, crisis & reputation managers, too.
- Has life become highly specialized? (Necessarily.)
- Has that made it less special? (Doubtful.)
- Should we turn back the clock? (Probably not a good idea, since life earlier was indeed nasty, brutish and shorter.)
Beware of wistfulness for the good old days. Memory plays tricks. It softens harsh edges and enhances achievements. In your mind, your first sweetheart was always prettier and freer of any bad habits than she was in reality. Your high school football team has never been as good as when you were there. What you accomplished at your first professional job was never matched.
What a wonderful life, if only it were true.
Achieving your goals requires having a solid grasp on reality and knowing your limits.
Consider a food company facing a sexual harassment suit that could put it out of business. Their attorney was well-equipped to fend off the legal aspects. But both he and the CEO knew they needed help safeguarding the company’s reputation against the negative onslaught by the other side and how it’s perceived by the media and public.
Or a high-octane attorney in a long-running dispute with his law firm’s managing partner. He was going to walk out the door, but wanted to do so on his own schedule and his own terms. He enlisted us to plant his storyline in major media with no fingerprints, and the other side never recovered.
Or an executive who was brilliant at running his company, but out of his depth in a nasty feud with his business partner. So he enlisted us to be his Cyrano to develop strategies and shape his communications to achieve his goals.
The moral: Recognize what you do well. Delegate the rest. Pick your counselors wisely. Together you will achieve more than you could have dreamt by yourself — and it will be done faster and better.
“Because Reputation Is Your Most Valuable Asset”
Gillott Communications is a Strategic PR firm. We’re Fixers. Crisis & Reputation Management. Litigation. Media Relations. Crisis Prep. More than half a century of expertise working with clients to resolve issues both in and outside the media’s glare — in their professional and personal lives.
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