When it comes to building your reputation, often people are so busy getting through life, it is hard to step back and shape your life. One of the most important ways to get out of this trap is to gain clarity on your reputation and what it is that you want to do. What do you want to impact? Where do you want to leverage your voice and what would you say?

In just the last 20 years, the way we communicate and the tools we have to drive change have leveled the playing field in many ways. All it takes is one person to build a clear message and begin to see a ripple effect across the internet.

​Sometimes, that “digital ripple” crosses over into reality. When we look at the Oscars this past Sunday, there were a few moments where opportunities were created to build a reputation proactively and intentionally.

1. Leonardo DiCaprio finally wins an Oscar after six nominations.What we can learn from Leonardo DiCaprio is the art of consistency. He has delivered impactful movies for over 20 years, which is hard to imagine since he is only 41. However, when we think about the work we do and how we deliver, are we grateful when we hit hard times, do we persevere even though we are not recognized for everything?

When it is time to give a speech, are you ready and do you recognize the people throughout your life as perfectly as Leo did that night? He clearly prepared his thank you list as well as his call to action. He wants people to think about climate change and get involved. He leveraged this opportunity to deliver more than just one message.

Question: What message would you deliver? What change do you wish to be in the world?

2. Lady Gaga delivers a powerful message with her voice.We all remember Lady Gaga wearing meat, dressing in ways that one might say are way more than just innovative. However, she has evolved her brand to a more classic, yet edgy, and beautiful presence. Her clothes were absolutely on brand and stunning. When she sang “Til It Happens to You”, the vulnerability and strength she brought as well as the powerful message of those on stage, made it possible to talk about a very uncomfortable topic. Lady Gaga used her position, her talent, and her passion to shine a light on an unbelievably important issue. Sexual assault is not getting the visibility it should.

Question: What talent do you have that you could leverage to create opportunities for visibility and change?

3. Sylvester Stallone and Cate Blanchett, each others fans.
Be kind to one another and celebrate the people around you. Just before Sylvester Stallone was interviewed by Robin Roberts, Cate Blanchett stopped Sylvester Stallone and told him how much she loved his performance in Creed. This was not something she had to do, and yet she did. He was so moved by her taking the time to provide recognition, it clearly came through in the interview.

Question: When is the last time you gave someone a shoutout in front of others — either in person or online? Try it. It goes such a long way.

4. Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling, Best Couple Ever.
These two were so fabulous. They clearly practiced and planned ahead of time. Their back and forth was hilarious and self-deprecating, especially Ryan Gosling. On Twitter, people were even asking for them to start a sitcom together. What is powerful is that they prepared. And prepared. And practiced. This shows the audience respect, each other respect, and the Oscars respect.

Question: Do you practice and prepare enough? Whether it is for a meeting, a talk, a networking event, practice, practice, practice.

5. Chris Rock Did His Best with a Tough Subject, Be Gutsy & Show Up
Chris Rock worked very hard to prepare content that was funny, provocative, and would work to appease as many audiences as possible. This was a very tall order. So far, as one would expect, there are many different reactions. Some think he did fabulous mixing humor with direct feedback, like his comment that the Oscars are “sorority racist”. Others were still very offended with some of his comments when he referenced lynchings in the monologue and Asians inappropriately later.

Overall, Chris did okay given the task at hand, addressing how #OscarsSoWhite. However, it is possible he could have scrubbed his comments more and asked various audiences how they might react. This is a tough one, because as a comedian, he often does not ask for permission. However, in this case, it might have made sense to run it by a few people. Kudos to Chris for showing up and delivering a performance that hit on critical points, even though it might have missed a few too.

Question: How are you being gutsy? What are you saying yes (or no) to that requires you to step up out of your comfort zone?

In my latest book, The Intentional Entrepreneur, I write about building a personal brand through intentionality. Planning ahead and identifying how your reputation can drive your business, your goals, your life. Reach out if want to talk about your reputation strategy, visit my websitewww.brandmirror.com and connect with me on LinkedIn.

Be your best self,
Jen Dalton