Book Review: “The Power of Reputation”

by Chris Komisarjevsky

It may be just your imagination, but the phone isn’t ringing as much as it used to.

People aren’t coming in the door quite as often, either, and you’re not sure why. It could be the economy, but that’s supposed to be getting better. It could be the market, or the fickleness of the buying public.

Maybe people just don’t know enough about your business. Or maybe they do know all about it, and that’s why the phone isn’t ringing as much.

First impressions count, but so do seventh and twelfth ones. In the new book “The Power of Reputation” by Chris Komisarjevsky, you may learn how to protect the best asset you and your business have.

Chances are, you don’t own the only business that does what you do. You undoubtedly have competitors and your customers know how to find them. But, says Komisarjevsky, a “good reputation is the reason [customers] choose you.”

The best way to make sure you’re looked upon as favorably as possible, then, is to build a positive reputation because what clients think of you, how they perceive your business, and how you deal with customers are make-or-break factors in corporations and careers. Building a good reputation is done by heeding the three critical components: character, communication, and trust.

“The most powerful way to build a successful career is through the strength of your personal character,” says Komisarjevsky. Commitment and drive contribute, too, as do passion, loyalty, and good judgment. Show your employees and clients that no job is beneath you. Reach out to co-workers and bring your interests to work with you. Be authentic, and care about those around you.

Give people face-time when communicating with them. Ask questions and pay attention. Videotape yourself as practice for public speaking. “Communicate by example” and learn to motivate others with your words.

To earn trust, practice humility and be willing to share power. Rise above politics, be a good listener, and know how to overcome threats to your reputation. Finally, know how to apologize because even the most reputable person makes mistakes …

Sounds pretty basic? Yup, and repetitious, too.

Author Chris Komisarjevsky has a lot of good points in this book. Readers will learn a thing or two, but they’ll learn it over and over and over. There are, after all, only so many ways to discuss trust, communication, and character.

I was also rather confused as to the target of this book. On one hand, it seems to be for successful business owners who probably already enjoy a good reputation. On the other hand, this book isn’t for newbies, either, because some of the recommendations seem meant for C-Level experience.

And then there are the overgeneralizations…

Overall, I think this book might be a nice checklist if you’re fierce about your public face. I can see new MBA grads reading it. It might be great for anyone who’s fallen from grace, but most good business owners already know what’s in here. For them, “The Power of Reputation” just won’t ring well.

Book reviewer Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 and never goes anywhere without a book.