One of our Rules of the Road for Reputation Management reads: “What you do is more important than what you say.” In other words, reputations are earned as much as developed or built.
With Memorial Day approaching, I can’t help but think of the well-earned and sterling reputation of an important, but too often taken for granted, segment of society: our veterans.
Growing up, it was never just another holiday. As a son of a World War II veteran from a family teeming with veterans of every armed conflict in which America participated during the 20th century, it was made clear to me at a young age that Memorial Day was a solemn occasion and not just a long weekend.
Once I was old enough to understand the nature of war and how they are fought, my father made it very clear to me why veterans are to be so cherished and why Memorial Day is not just another holiday. “They sacrificed and died for us,” he would say. “For people they didn’t even know.”
While the places where they fought may change–Bunker Hill, Gettysburg, Normandy, Fallujah–what never changes is a devotion to a cause greater than themselves. Regardless of politics, that sort of commitment deserves and demands our respect.
When discussing reputation management with clients, we use the word “transparency” a lot. Nothing is more transparent than the commitment and sacrifice of our veterans.
So, if you have the opportunity this weekend, say “thank you” to a veteran. I know they’ll appreciate it.