Reputation Under Pressure
Influencing Across an Organization


Is there a leader or team in your organization who, because of their reputation, continually encounters resistance to their ideas, suggestions or actions? Do these people have a reputation that opens doors for them or closes them? How much time, energy and money are negative reputations costing your organization? What would the difference be if people had more trust in others?

Most leaders don’t realize that their reputation is an invisible force that shapes every decision that involves them:

  • How people listen to them
  • How seriously others take their arguments, suggestions or ideas
  • How fully people will commit to their vision and trust their direction

A strong, positive reputation has an extraordinary effect on the amount of trust, credibility, respect, and ultimately on the influence you have with others, regardless of their title, role, or responsibility. This influence allows you to be more effective because you are able to do more with less and to do it with more speed, efficiency and support.

What isn’t as readily recognized is that not all moments are created equally when it comes to forging your reputation. In moments of pressure (which we call “17% moments”), your brain encodes information differently. Your brain is wired to vividly recall how people show up and impact you in those 17% moments. Therefore, what we do in moments of pressure has an outsized effect on the reputation that forms in the minds of others, and thus the influence we have with them.

Building on the Emotional Intelligence and Conversations Under Pressure programs, this program will provide you with the opportunity:

  • Examine the science behind the forging and reinforcing of your reputation to strengthen your impact as a leader.
  • Build a Reputation Map to help you understand your influence and uncover where your reputation may be serving or sabotaging you
  • Learn to identify and approach as opposed to avoiding difficult and reputation critical moments (the high pressure “17% moments”)
  • Use a reputation index to assess the two key behavioral elements that drive your reputation: your levels of Heart and Edge
  • Develop a comprehensive action plan that allows you to build a strong leadership reputation and grow your influence in your organization

This may be run as a stand-alone program and will create a powerful learning experience. However, it is best utilized as part of a sustained learning curriculum that is preceded by Emotional Intelligence and Conversations Under Pressure program.


We have found that most organizations and their leaders don’t recognize that their leadership reputation is the invisible force that precedes them into every room they walk into, every meeting they are part of, and most importantly, that it shapes every decision that involves them. They have no clue that their reputation, especially under pressure, drives how people listen to them, how seriously they take their arguments, suggestions or ideas, and how fully people will commit to their vision, trust their direction, advocate for them and take the necessary actions to move things forward – all necessary elements of influence and effectiveness. Knowing this will change the way people think about reputation and its impact.
Our research clearly shows that effective leadership in organizations requires people to have a positive and strong reputation. A leader’s positive reputation acts as a force to attract others to them, gives them out-sized influence (important in a matrixed environment), makes their team want to move mountains for them, and propels them, their teams and their organization to the next level of performance. Research shows that reputations have a significant impact on effective leadership in organizations:
  • Employee Commitment: senior managers’ and leaders’ reputations can drive employee commitment up by as much as 41% (CCL, 2010)
  • Career Success: 86% agree that working for a leader with a positive reputation was critical to their performance and career success (IHHP, 2012)
  • Employee Retention: 74% of people have admitted leaving an organization due to their manager’s reputation (IHHP, 2012)