Curated Leadership for Today's World

is your triple “A” rating at risk?

Posted on 23 August 2011

aaablog-jpA dear friend and I were discussing the importance of branding, not just to businesses, but to every individual. Personal branding is, in effect, how your character, reputation and deeds are recorded. It’s what makes you distinctly you, as a person, as a professional, and as a member of our social collective.

Recently, the subject of theUnited States’ credit rating has been the topic of much news. AAA is the highest credit rating given by debt analysis agencies such as Standard and Poor’s and Moody’s. Every individual is their own little economic microcosm. We sell ideas, peddle influence, seek to add value, and contribute our resources. So what kind of a rating would we earn as individuals? Would we earn the coveted triple “A” rating? Here’s how we could:

A is for ASSOCIATIONS: We’ve heard about this since we were school kids. Do we aspire to soar with eagles or scrounge with turkeys? After all, birds of a feather do flock together. Many great personal development writers clearly point out that we are the sum totals of the people we associate with.  Charlie “Tremendous” Jones said, “You’ll be the same person five years from now as you are today except for two things: the people you meet and the books you read.” And yes, what and who we read about is also an association that factors into our ratings.

A is for ATTITUDES: We’ve heard this one throughout our lives too. An attitude of gratitude should flavor everything we do. A positive attitude can turn hurt into something that makes us better, not bitter. What’s your attitude toward failure, fear, rejection, and betrayal? These are all staples of a well-lived life. It’s so easy to bear fruit in season when the sun is shining and the rain falls regularly. It’s tough when the soil is barren and there’s no rain on the horizon. But that’s the clearest indication of what type of rating we’ll earn on our Attitude. As Cavett Robert so eloquently said, “If you don’t think every day is a good day, try missing one.”

A is for ACTIONS: Another childhood lesson: actions speak louder than words. I’ve found throughout the years that I’m most despondent or anxious when I’m not taking action. As General George S. Patton said, “Be willing to make decisions. That’s the most important quality in a good leader.” That’s because actions are the living proof of our verbal aspirations and mental attitudes. So when confronted with life’s issues, remember: the best way out of a problem is through it. Action dispels doubt and fear and is the quickest way to boost our rating. Zig Ziglar said, “Do it, and then you will feel motivated to do it.”

The higher your rating the more value you add, not only to your own life, but to the lives of others by being a better friend, mentor, spouse, partner, contractor, consultant, employer, preacher, teacher…. you name it! Want a Triple “A” rating in life? It’s not up to the economists; it’s up to you!

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