We were graced with the ill-timed reminder by former BP CEO Tony Hayward that he’d “like [his] life back” in the wake of the Deep Horizon oil spill.
There was a spate of well-publicized spats between Apple’s Steve Jobs and some of the company’s more ardent customers.
And, in an effort to never let a good promotional opportunity pass him by, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg urged New Yorkers to “take in a Broadway play” in the immediate aftermath of a crippling snowstorm last December.
Taken separately, these slips of the tongue likely would not amount to much. But, as a whole, they reiterate an age-old reality in executive reputation management—one that’s critical in the digital age: perception matters.
Our words, when combined with compelling images, can shape who we are as leaders, and how others perceive our authority and credibility. The “Gotcha” moment is only a tweet away. Tech-savvy constituents and stakeholders have the ability to instantly rebuke what they perceive to be hypocritical statements and grandstanding.