Thursday, November 29, 2012

Personal Reputation

Personal Reputation
I would like to think I have a strong reputation in a certain student organization I am involved with. I have held several officer positions in the group and have worked to earn a name for myself as a hard-worker and a solid leader. I worked very hard to start developing this reputation. Originally I saw a position in the group that I wanted to hold because I believed I could be effective in developing the organization through it. However, I did not have much experience required and there were others who were interested as well. I began to take things into my own hands and set up and organized various group events that were very successul. This quickly developed a reputation as someone who was effective and driven. I had specific goals that I wanted to achieve, and I achieved them in a reasonable time frame.

After I had developed a solid reputation I needed to enhance it. I needed to solidify my abilities and show the group that my successes were not exceptions but the norm. I worked hard for several months in accomplishing this goal and brought several innovations to the way things were run in the group. When officer elections came around, I was a shoe-in for the position that I had desired and everyone was satisfied with the outcome of the election. Now that I had won the position I had a mandate from the group's members to carry out my promises and maintain the same or greater level of effort I had prior to the election.

Here is when an interesting motivation was introduced. I had achieved my main goal of getting elected to the position and along the way had developed a strong reputation. Now that I was in the position, I had all of the benefits of being in a leadership role, however I essentially controlled how much work I wanted to put in. There was certainly motivation for me to slack on projects or events I personally deemed unnecessary of a waste of time. Why should I waste my time on something that I do not whole-heartedly believe in or want to help with? Is what my rational side thought, however my social side knew that I could not let down the group that had voted for me.

I cannot think of an example in this situation in which I have "cashed in" on my reputation however there have certainly been opportunities in which I could have. Possibly using my reputation as hardworking and trustworthy to engage in a deal with someone and then double-back on the deal as long as there were no safeguards to prevent that. In this case, the utility from breaking the agreement would have to exceed the utility from maintaining it and the disutility from losing a good reputation.

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like the student organization you worked in has presented you mainly with opportunities that interested you and no burdens you want to shun. There is no reason to "cash in" when that's the case.