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Protect Your Reputation at All Costs

By Sep 18,2017 Follow Me on Google+

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Protect your reputation at all costs, and do not let false rumors or information about you to stand uncorrected. You do not want people to spread negative information about you in the workplace; not only can such rumors impact your current job, but also your future employment prospects. Negative rumors must be stopped as soon as you become aware of them.

“A risk to reputation is a threat to the survival of the enterprise.”

-Peter J. Firestein

I read an article once about Blackstone executive David Blitzer, whose father-in-law he once charged with trying to shake him down for $7.5 million. The man was ultimately arrested after Blitzer, 38, made a $500,000 payment as part of a deal to get the harassment to stop. Blitzer’s father-in-law had originally requested that Blitzer loan him money, which Blitzer did. However, when Blitzer refused to relinquish more money than originally requested, things turned ugly. According to the article:

In June, Ross demanded more money and began harassing Blitzer with phone calls and emails, according to the district attorney’s office. Ross allegedly said if Blitzer did not give him at least an additional $50,000, Ross would contact Blackstone executives and law enforcement with accusations he said would ruin Blitzer’s career.

In one voicemail message, Ross threatened to “commit open warfare” against Blitzer if he didn’t send money, the district attorney’s office says.


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When I read that article, a family member was attacking me in a similar way, after I’d refused to give that person a loan. The difference between what happened to me and the situation with Blitzer was the “open warfare” against me had already begun. The attacks had been going on for some time, in fact. When my relative denied the attacks, I asked him to take a lie detector test, which he took and failed.

While I cannot comment on this further, I will say you must protect your reputation at all costs from public defamation. Don’t let yourself become a victim.

Being attacked by my relative was one of the hardest things I have ever dealt with. A situation like this really goes to the core of who you are, and it causes damage in many ways. People have asked me why someone would make accusations against me if they were not true. My reputation has been tainted. The problems the ordeal caused me, my family, and even my employees are completely unacceptable.

During your career, you cannot afford to take any chances with what people say about you. Never let lies be spread about you. Before becoming the CEO of the employment companies I work for now, most of my experience was in the legal industry. I worked in Los Angeles and saw several attorneys’ careers destroyed by rumors. While some of the rumors I heard were in fact true, most were not–and the results for the attorneys were catastrophic. Even in a market as large as Los Angeles, word got around very quickly. If you think there are rumors going around about you, you need to react quickly to stop them. The only fight you’re guaranteed to lose is the one you back down from.

When you are searching for a job, you need to be aware your potential employers will do their homework on you. They will put your name into a search engine and look you up on social networking sites to see what they can find out about you. If you have a blog, your potential employer will look this up as well. If the people you associate with on your blog do not meet your potential employer’s approval (e.g., they are into “weird stuff”), this may cause him or her to lose interest in your candidacy. You must ensure you are protecting your reputation and controlling what others can find out about you.

I once heard someone say something I believe is very appropriate regarding professional reputations: “Never tell people you work with your biggest weaknesses because this is something that can be used against you in the future. Your weaknesses are something that gives others power over you.” While this advice may sound extreme, the point is to protect yourself. You do not want people spreading negative information about you in the workplace. This can not only cause problems with your current job but can also potentially damage your future employment prospects. There is no quicker way to hurt your career (especially in niche professions where a lot of people know each other) than to allow rumors to circulate about you.

The best way to deal with rumors is often to acknowledge they exist and then do your best to address them. Addressing rumors is an excellent way to ensure that whatever is behind them is not allowed to fester. For example, the Coca-Cola Company has an entire portion of its website dedicated to addressing false rumors. This is a priority for large companies such as Coca-Cola, and it should be a priority in your career as well.

In my opinion, one of the best ways to overcome your critics is to simply sit down and speak with the people you believe are creating the rumors. This can be challenging to do in a professional environment, but when done properly, it can put the people on notice about your concern and let them know you may suspect their own behaviors. Getting close to these people–keeping your enemies close–is often the best way to help quiet them.

When I was in high school, I remember another football player spreading rumors about me and a girl in our school, with whom I’d never even spoken. I walked up to the player the day I heard the rumor and asked him, “What exactly makes you feel good about spreading rumors about this girl and me?” I never heard the rumor again. Later, I heard he denied ever saying it.

In summary, if you hope to continue to grow your career, you must confront rumors early on in order to prevent them from growing and festering. Protect your professional reputation at all costs, act with honor and don’t let petty talk from other people stand in the way of your progress.


Protect your reputation at all costs, and do not let false rumors or information about you to stand uncorrected. You do not want people to spread negative information about you in the workplace; not only can such rumors impact your current job, but also your future employment prospects. Negative rumors must be stopped as soon as you become aware of them.

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  • Annonymous

    I feel this article was written just for me! I am an attorney working in a large firm. For the past year now, rumors have been circulating about my work performance and now these rumors have manifested themselves into a negative evaluation from my supervisors. I know in my heart that these rumors are false and I have evidence to prove them wrong. However, I’m an introvert and I really just wish I can duck my head in the sands and let the whole thing blow over. This article gave me the strength and encouragement I needed to refute these rumors and protect my professional reputation.

  • Carla Jean

    Can’t a person sue an employer if they find out they are giving really negative information about them if someone calls them for information? What are a person’s legal rights? Please email me the answer (if you can!)



  • Terry

    I know that in California, where I spent most of the first 28 years of my life, and Nevada, where I have lived for the past 14 years, it is illegal for an employer to tell anyone almost anything about you. In fact, in Nevada, if a prospective employer contacts a previous employer about someone, the only information the previous employer can give is whether the person is re-hireable. I would imagine most states have similar laws, which you would have to check in your state. If an employer is violating these laws, I would imagine that they could be sued.

  • agnesmaria

    Now a day most of the jobs boards are released for search the jobs. Some of the job boards are collecting charges from job seekers. A Harrison Barnes is the best site for search the jobs. This site jobs are every day updated by the market. It is the very effective strategy. Thank you to all.

  • Susilbhanj

    Great article! All the employees should go through this article.
    What we understood in this article, that commitment is more important for our success. Without commitment there was no job satisfaction.Job satisfaction is there only when our commitment become success.

  • Asaduzzaman rebel

    Now a day most of the jobs boards are released for search the jobs. Some of the job boards are collecting charges from job seekers. A Harrison Barnes is the best site for search the jobs. This site jobs are every day updated by the market. It is the very effective strategy. Thank you to all.

  • Michael Tine

    Hello sir Barnes!

    I agree with you about this article. I also want to read the article about the recruiters again. I think that it so important to know how to do things the right way in the future. I don’t want to be in a hurry and fail even if I’m not afraid to fail. But I feel a sense of success because of your articles. That’s the reason I can’t send my response now. I hope you understand my situation now.

    Thank you very much sir Barnes!
    Friendly yours Michael TINE

  • A

    What should I do about people who have spread rumors about me???

  • Shabazz X

    The legal profession is full of racism and nepotism. Merit means NOTHING. When all else fails, lawyers trash each other to anyone who will listen to get ahead. Lawyers will try to ruin each other’s reputations to gain more business or just seek revenge against an enemy. Most rumors are about a lawyer’s personal life and not work quality because merit means NOTHING in this profession. I worked at Jones Day’s Los Angeles office years ago. Upon leaving the firm, I filed a racial discrimination complaint against the firm and Rick McKnight, the Managing Partner. Rick, being a sexual deviant and pervert, told all my prospective employers I was a gay man, a virgin, and had been having sex with my black secretary at Jones Day who was a woman–all of which cannot possibly be true. These rumors followed me to my next job, where I eventually filed a sexual harassment claim against the perverted, oversexed, and jealous lawyers I work with. However, I made sure that Jones Day’s LA office and Rick McKnight paid the price for trying to ruin my career. I did this by telling the truth about him–no lies needed. I not only revealed that Rick McKnight was a pervert who tried to have sex with any woman who worked in his office, but that Rick was also a racist who was making big money on government contracts while refusing to hire minorities in his fancy “white shoe” law firm. In the end, Rick McKnight stepped down from his job as Managing Partner in public humiliation and I was able to clear up the rumors. So, if you’re going to start a rumor, make sure you are perfect so no one will start one about you.

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