On Reputation, Brand, Integrity, Character, and Happiness

Two posts on social prompted this post today. First, this post on Twitter, which I clicked through (but didn’t read):

Happiness at work. What a concept. I just posted on Snowfly about employee satisfaction… you can read it here.

The other social post was on Facebook (John Wooden was a famous basketball coach):

John Wooden on Character and Reputation

The Wooden quote stuck out because in the career space we talk a lot about personal branding, which is essentially reputation. I love the idea of personal branding, and creating your own brand, and leading with your brand, and understanding your brand.

But I don’t think that brand trumps character. Without character, and integrity, your brand is a facade. I have worked with people who have the character of a wet napkin but have very strong personal brands. It isn’t until other people get to know them that they understand just how horrible of a person they are, even though the brand was there.

So there you go: perspective on branding (very important for your career) and character (way more important than brand). I advocate working on BOTH.

Regarding happy at work… look, if you aren’t going to be happy outside of work, why do you think you get to be happy in work? Work on YOU, and figure out joy and happiness. Then, even if you have a bad day at work, even if your boss is an idiot (their idiocy might not be temporary, but that they are your boss is most definitely temporary :p), even if you are working for a promotion, you can be happy where you are (while working on something better).

If you wait to be happy until some change happens, after the change you’ll have a new reason to “wait to be happy.” Figure out how to be happy now.

Side note: when I started JibberJobber and had some appearance of business success people would ask if I was happy. I would respond with “I’m happy, I’m just not satisfied.” This reframing of happiness helped me understand that it’s okay to be happy even while I knew there was more to come and changes in the air.

How about you? Are you happy? Are you happy with your character?