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Leadership Development Blog

Whats the Word of the Street?

The old expression “Street Angel, House Devil” is often referred to by parents who know their children are naughty at home and likely to be “goody two shoes” at school or when out of the house. So the word on the street is that they are “good kids’ and can be counted on by their friends. As a parent myself, I must admit I preferred it this way, although there was a time when it was somewhat challenging having three teenage daughters who were house and bedroom mess devils! (and I think they now agree).

And while the principal of “street angel, house devil” does not apply in the workplace there are echoes of it down the alley way cafés, offices and associations that we all frequent. It works like this. Most people present at work as they are expected to – professional, respectful, courteous, polite, dressed appropriately and behave in a way that the organisations they work for would like them. They are office angels (ok, maybe you know a few who aren’t too!)

Yet, by and large when they leave the office, their personal brand appears and is blended with their business brand. Thanks to social media and instant imaging we can now see people at all times of the day and evening that give us a picture of them outside the work they do and the relationships they have.

This can make for office conversation, gossip, rumour, speculation and in the end, people make up their own minds about the reputation and the image of the person and the company they work for. Sometimes confirming they are responsible and have integrity, other times maybe not.

Are they perhaps Work Angels, and Play Devils? Hmmm...

So what’s the word on the street about your organisation and the people who work in it? This word is powerful. It opens or closes opportunities, business, relationships and networks. Sometimes you know about it, and sometimes we don’t.

We can only control the words about us. Make sure those words are the ones you want others to say about you when you are not there, as the words we hear may only be echoes of the past or only what we want to not what is really said.

Posted by Ricky Nowak on 22nd April, 2013 |

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