Category Archives: reputation management

12 Tell-tale Signs That a Person Will Be Successful: What to Look for in a High-Value Person

By James D. Roumeliotis

Whether you’re looking to team-up with someone for a project, business partnership, hire for your organization ─ or even consider as a prospective long-term intimate partner (wink-wink), that individual, whether prospective or on the right track has certain traits which increase the likelihood of his or her success in life and/or business or profession.

This is by no means scientific. However, there are well-known characteristics of existing successful people ─ whether in their profession, trade, in business and or in any other endeavor. There is certainly a specific pattern that decreases the chances of disappointment.

Choose your key person or people wisely

Some people have the knack and intuition, whether they seek and hire talent such as an employee, bet on a senior executive or partner, for business development, or even choose an heir for their empire. What they look for, at the very least, are the following 12 high-value traits in a person, regardless of gender.

1] Ambitious: An essential start as it signifies the person has something he or she really wants to achieve. This could be considered his or her goal(s) in life and will go above and beyond to achieve them.

2] Self-motivated: Constantly taking action and initiative without any prodding by others. Showing commitment and drive to achieve. Likewise, passionate enjoying every moment spent working on a chosen pursuit.

3] Spends Time Productively: This person manages his or her time properly and cognizant that using time effectively increases the chances of accomplishing his or her goals. Among others, practical time spent may include activities such as exercising, reading, learning, volunteering, and devoting quality time with loved ones.

4] Timely & Reliable: They produce winning relationships and results. With such people, it not only means doing what they say, but it also means doing what is right, regardless of what they have committed to. They are results-oriented. If they tell someone they can do something or meet at a certain time, they have made a promise they keep. Being on time shows others that this a person of his or her word and makes the habit of always being on time for meetings and appointments.

5] Takes every Hurdle/Challenge as a Learning Opportunity: Recognizes what he or she is good at and polishes his or her strengths along with acknowledging weaknesses and works to improve them.

6] Enjoys the Company of Successful People: He or she understands and follows the stock phrase of “You’re known by the company you keep.” This person enjoys having others’ success inspire him or her. Those who don’t achieve success would rather be around smaller people because it makes them feel bigger. Moreover, he or she realizes the importance of support from those he or she admires when determined at accomplishing bigger goals.

7] Relentlessly Competitive: The people who are going to be successful in life are super competitive. It doesn’t matter what it is. It’s the one who sees winning as the job that needs to be done, so he or she will show up and do it each and every time. This person is determined to do it better, faster and to the fullest of his or her abilities than most people as he or she thrives on competition and welcomes the challenge.

8] Not a Fan of Excuses/Pretexts: Successful people find a way and refuse to cop-out, whereas failures find feeble excuses to avoid pain and commitment to their obligations and responsibilities.  No successful leader or entrepreneur makes excuses for inaction or action gone wrong. He or she make things happen regardless of the situation or circumstance.

9] Tenacious:  He or she knows that as long as he or she keeps at it, regardless of hurdles to overcome, a victorious outcome will be achieved. It’s all about persistence, perseverance, and determination to get things done.

10] Educates Oneself Constantly: This person has a growth mindset and mindful of the importance of permanent self-development, as well as very curious in nature who seeks to keep learning, discovering, thus improving his or her knowledge and skills.

11] Acknowledges Mistakes: This person is willing to admit to his or her flaws and errors and keeps refining himself or herself, as well as learn from mistakes so they aren’t repeat. In addition, this person possesses integrity with honesty and strong moral principles.

12] People Skills: A genuine interest for others and for long-term relationships. A person with a high EQ. Selfless, willing to help others do well with the ability to get the best out of someone, seeking mutual beneficial outcomes, and loyal to those with whom he or she has committed to. Thus, excellent interpersonal skills are essential for leading effectively.

How do you look for them?

It goes without saying that as far as knowing whether the person or people you seek possess the above characteristics, you ought to be familiar with them for an extensive time. It’s not possible from merely a casual acquaintance or interview.  With the latter, situational/behavioral questions can be asked which may give a glimpse of the candidate’s character and thought process. One way to spot them is identifying people who assume unofficial authority within the framework of their jobs within your organization. Such individuals possess certain traits that distinguish them from others on the team and build their credibility. Two other ways is either through casual or frequent observation over time or through a trusted referral from someone who knows him or her quite well and offers a personal endorsement.

In the end

Realistically, there is no perfect formula to any of this. No one’s ever going to fulfill 100% of the traits unless you’re seeking a unicorn. At the very least, one should expect somewhere between a 70% or 80%. If done right, much of the time, you should be able to put together an incredible team in your business so you will grow it and rise above and beyond. An effective leader doesn’t operate alone and neither taking all the credit.

On a final note, once ideal candidates are discovered and hired, good leadership and employers perform proper onboarding along with empowering them and providing ongoing training and development.

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The Four T’s of Leadership: Truth, Trust, Transparency & Teamwork

By James D. Roumeliotis

Those, like myself, who are drawn to the discipline of “leadership” have read our share of articles, research papers and oodles of third-party opinions on the subject matter. However, most if not all of us, will agree that the definition arrives at the same conclusion: Leadership is a skill and talent, mainly by an individual, to lead, motivate, influence other individuals, teams, and entire organizations to act toward achieving a common goal. In business, this implies directing colleagues and workers with a strategy to meet the company’s attainable goals and objectives.

For leadership to possess credibility, it must earn three sacred principles: Truth, Trust and Transparency plus an additional and equally important one ─ Teamwork. These elements will be expounded below.

Leadership styles

Regardless of leadership style applied, the four T’s presence are not to be discounted.

Without going much into detail on the eight leadership styles, as this subject is an article or book unto itself, its effectiveness is summarized in the following table:

Leadership StyleCommonly EffectiveOccasionally EffectiveRarely Effective
DemocraticX  
Autocratic  X
Laissez-Faire X 
StrategicX  
Transformational X 
Transactional X 
Coach-StyleX  
Bureaucratic  X

The four T’s of leadership

The four “T’s” are considered the cornerstone to a leadership’s personality and long-term success. Those skills are all within reach and should be brought to the top of a leadership personality.  

Truth: Lack of truth expressed in any organization can take many forms. It could be departments not sharing information because it might put them in a bad situation with peers or it could be information not reaching a manager because no one wants to pass-on any bad news. Leaders need to know the truth to make intelligent business decisions and the employees at all levels should know the truth to do their jobs effectively. 

Trust: Without trust, a leader will not succeed instigating a productive team culture. Moreover, the most important attribute building trust is transparency. Leaders build up their team members’ trust by communicating transparently and truthfully – in other words, by being trustworthy. In addition to the importance of team members trusting their boss, it is essential that supervisors also trust their direct reports and facilitate their success by creating the conditions for it.

Transparency: A recent Forbes poll revealed that 50% of employees think their organizations were held back by a lack of transparency. When an individual or an organization is transparent, there are no hidden agendas and no information is being kept from people who need to know it. Transparency also promotes recognition of common goals. This is important because you are not stating one thing while covertly trying to achieve something else. Trust and transparency go hand-in-hand because transparency builds trust.

Teamwork: Teamwork is critical to success in any effort. Excellent leadership requires inspiring the people around them by empowering them, by enabling them to contribute their expertise as a collective and cohesive team, and ultimately trusting them.  Teamwork and leadership in tandem are important because they provide clarity for your team and have a direct impact on the vision of the company and its results.

The way these principles need to be applied will vary with each circumstance. However, the principles themselves remain the same. Therefore, leaders can and should apply these principles in an adaptable way.

The takeaway

Leaders must create the conditions in their organization to succeed, as well as trust their colleagues and workers to do so, and verify that they have done so ─ by keeping in consideration the proverb, “Trust but verify.” By applying the principles of trust, truth, transparency and teamwork, leaders will help ensure their teams’ success. I realize that helping others grow brings me fulfillment. I see how being an educator, mentor or coach and an advisor, as well as an employer are rewarding roles for me. 

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Four Forms of Business Capital: Trust Capital, First and Foremost

By James D. Roumeliotis

Businesses usually focus on three types of capital such as Financial, Human and Intellectual but you rarely hear about a fourth one ─ Trust Capital. This is when a business and its brand possess honesty and considered trustworthy by its clients, employees and stakeholders. A brand is mainly a symbol, mark, logo, name, word, and/or sentence that companies use to distinguish their product from others. However, it is a person’s perception of a product, service, experience, and/or organization which matters a great deal. For those reasons, a brand is considered a promise which is a value or experience a company’s customers can expect to receive every single time they interact with that company ─ also known as touch points. The more a company can deliver on that promise, the stronger the brand value in the mind of customers and employees.

Defining each business capital

Financial Capital can be defined as an investment asset whose value is derived from a contractual claim of what they represent. These are liquid assets as the economic resources or ownership can be converted into something of value, known as cash, financial instruments or securities. It is liquidity available its disposal to operate efficiently.

Human Capital, also known as human resources and manpower among other organizational division names/designations used, is the group of people who work for or are qualified to work for an organization—the “workforce.” Human Capital or “people talent” helps creates economic wealth for the business. Human capital also includes assets like education, training, intelligence, skills, health, and other things employers value.

Intellectual Capital also known as “IP” refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by, for example, patentscopyright and trademarks, which enable a business or individuals to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create. 

As for Trust Capital, it is an intangible asset whereby confidence in the leadership, integrity, credibility and responsibility of a business to deliver its promises to its customers, employees and its stakeholders exists. Trust capital is what the business utilizes during a setback or crisis when it needs to defend itself in an unfortunate and unexpected circumstance. The trust capital the business has built over time can help to weather the crisis of character.

Additionally, some of the most important traits your customers associate with your brand are honesty and trustworthiness. Consequently, presenting a brand that is honest and trustworthy can make it easier to gain and retain your customers. It is something that takes time and plenty of effort to build but can also be scarred overnight.

Ways to build Trust Capital

1. Adopt a Trust Agenda within the organization, led by top management. Build a strong corporate brand with leadership, credibility, integrity and responsibility at the heart of its organizational values and behaviors. Do not just making empty promises. Failing to match behavior and expected results with merely talk results in loss of credibility and trust.

2. Recognize that trust is not the same as reputation – both are equally important and should be treated so. Reputation is the backward-facing evaluation of past experiences with a company or brand. Trust is the forward-facing evaluation of consumer expectations of future experiences.

3. Focus on customization and personalization but know your limits. Trust plays an important role in both. The more a consumer trusts a brand, the more the consumer will share, and then the more personal a brand can be. Differentiate between customization and personalization.

4. Acknowledge that every consumer is value conscious and that consumers determine value, not companies. Value as perceived by consumers is what matters. All consumers want to think of their purchase of a product or service as a good, fair value. Best value is more than merely low price, nowadays it is the total customer experience and how a brand makes them feel.

5. Create brand attributes. Those attributes are what you want to share with your customers. Part of discovering your brand attributes is also defining a brand tone. Every communication you have with your customers should display your brand attributes and tone. These communications should include website content, FAQ page language, and social media posts. What differentiates your brand? It can make a huge difference in how much information customers will trust your company with.

In addition, consider ways to build customer confidence by:

  1. Take ownership of customers’ concerns and complaints.
  2. Reassure customers by reviewing what they have stated and confirm you understood them before working on and providing an answer or solution.
  3. Keep customers posted in a timely manner.
  4. Always exude calmness, be tactful and remain professional.
  5. Encourage feedback.

In the end

The four Cs to build organizational value are Financial, Intellectual, Human and Trust. Many companies focus on the 3Cs of Capital, Financial Capital, Intellectual Capital and Human Capital. Now, they must add a fourth C, Trust Capital. Trust Capital creates value for the organization and helps protect the business when there is a credibility issue or a crisis. Trust Capital takes time to build but can be destroyed very quickly. Senior Management/Executives must think of themselves as the organization’s ‘Chief Trust Officer’.  Trust is earned over a long term. However, trust can be lost quickly. Facebook, We Work, Boeing and VW are good examples of how trust can dissipate over short sighted decisions and/or poor corporate decisions. How management behaves after a crisis is critical because actions speak louder than words. However, if a brand has plenty of prior trust capital, it can eventually help stabilizes and return the situation to their trusted relationships with customers, employees and stakeholders.

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