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From the reputation management specialist who helped shape the public profile and reputation of John Timpson CBE into one of the most sought after and respected thought leaders on management and retail in Britain today, Jools Payne offers a typically quirky perspective on the first incremental steps to managing reputation.
Jools lives in a pituresque North Wales valley. There, many people are called Jones - a very common Welsh surname. Here you will find Jones the Milk (the milkman), Jones the Post (the postman), Jones the Pub (the publican), Jones the School (the headmaster), Jones the Van (the mechanic), Jones the Suit (local entrepreneur) etc. You get the drift? In Welsh communities you are pretty much tagged by what you do.
Now meet Idris Jones. Idris is 89 years old and a fifth generation farmer in the valley. He's been a champion breeder of Heifers since 1959. Do they call him Jones the Cow? No! Idris has won rosettes in the valley's world famous sheepdog trials every year since he was a boy. Do they call him Jones the Whistle? No! Idris has been part of the furniture at the Valley Rugby Club man and boy - a trophy winning fly half for 20+ years, held key treasurer, fixture secretary and secretary posts since 1947 and was made lifetime Club President in 1979. Do they call him Jones the Rugby? No they do not! Idris has served as a Governor at the village primary school his grandfather built a total of 8 times since 1968 and built the Queen's Silver Jubilee toilet block himself in 1977. Do they call him Jones the School? Pah!
Idris shagged one sheep on 15th April 1963.
And now meet Dai the Plumber. In 1984, Dai installed a bathroom in the valley. Mistakenly, he got his pipework in a tangle and every time the home owner flushed the lavatory boiling water filled the pan. Dai has been known as Hot Flush ever since. Many local folks don't know his real name to this day.
You build reputational capital every day. It is enhanced - or diminished - by almost every action, almost every word, almost every deed... those that are caring and careful, those careless and cavalier.
When it comes to reputation management, Jools pops a respectful nod to Hippocrates himself - a Greek Scholar whose reputation and wisdom endures... "Firstly, do no harm."
This presentation was first delivered to the Shropgeek Rebellion Conference in Shrewsbury, Shropshire (UK) by Jools Payne on Thursday 20th February 2014.