How reputations are created, lost, protected and enhanced

October 18th, 2020

briars group jon hammond

What’s in a reputation?

The Billionaire and Founder of Jeff Bezos once said, ‘Your Reputation is what people talk about when you leave the room’.

They are very difficult to quantify and measure, but we all have one, and hopefully yours is positive and one to be proud of.

But how are they created? – should we just wait and see what people say or think about us, or perhaps take a more strategic and possibly be more proactive approach?

Over the years, I have been fortunate to be in a position to interview many leaders in a one to one situation for TV or radio, and witness first-hand how many of them view their reputation as a precious commodity to be nurtured and protected.

We have all seen reputations ruined by a silly throw away comment, said in the heat of the moment and regretted for many years afterwards.

Who can forget the UK Institute of Directors guest speaker and  former British jewellery company Ratner’s Group chief Gerald Ratner who, jokingly said “How can you sell this for such a low price?”, I say, “because it’s total crap.” He then added that they “sold a pair of earrings for under a pound, which is cheaper than a shrimp sandwich from Marks and Spencer, but probably wouldn’t last as long”.

Following the speech, Ratner’s the Jewellers shares dropped £500Million in a couple of days and the expression ‘Doing a Ratner’ was coined.

But there are also examples of reputations grown when leaders go the extra mile to connect with their people.

When Christopher Rodrigues was Chief Executive of Bradford and Bingley, he spontaneously went into the audience to sing ‘happy birthday’ to a very surprised colleague from one of the branches and in one go, won over an audience of several hundred. I have yet to see a PowerPoint chart do that so effectively!

Reputations should be preserved and protected especially in the 24/7 ‘always on’ world we live in.

The chances are, we would take a very strategic approach to creating and maintaining an organisation’s brand so why not do the same for your reputation?

I firmly believe we can’t force people to see us in a positive light, but we can definitely think about our actions every day and make sure they enhance rather than retract from our reputation.

Perhaps starting today…

This month sees the launch of the Reputation Podcast a brand-new audio download where I talk to leaders around the world about how their reputation developed, how their career grew and what have been their main influences. Briars very own Kate Jolley will be featuring very soon, however my first guest is Lord mark Price CVO. From humble beginnings as a management trainee at John Lewis, Mark rose to become Managing Director of Waitrose and Deputy Chairman of the John Lewis Partnership before being appointed Government Minister for Trade. His journey is fascinating and is continuing with project such as WORKL and Engaging Business, as well as a prolific output of books and apps.

(you can listen here or on your favourite app:;%20filename=’lord-mark-price-cvo.mp3′;%20filename*=UTF-8”lord-mark-price-cvo.mp3&response-content-type=audio/mpeg& )


Jon Hammond DL is an executive leadership coach with an impressive track record as a reputation saver and reputation builder. He has spent many years in TV and Radio relating to people through a lens and engaging with unseen audiences, and now shares many tips tricks and techniques to use in the virtual and real world to re-enforce leadership reputation

He helps businesses around the world with communication strategies, creating remote studios, effective message delivery and teaching leaders to have presence and to reach their full potential.

Contact him at or

Kate Jolly

Kate co-founded Briars in 1991 with Andrew Brierley. She specialised in tax law and today continues to advise clients on international operations, particularly land, expand and exit! In her spare time Kate is a Past Master of the City of London Guild of Entrepreneurs and a Director of CCARHT (Cambridge Centre for Applied Research into Human Trafficking).