Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Brett Favre and Credibility

It's the first Tuesday of August, and as folks in my neck of the woods (Minnesota) have learned, if Brett Favre sticks his head out of Hattiesburg, Mississippi and sees that he isn't the focus of the news, we'll get six more weeks of speculation about his career.

For the fourth time since 2006, the news outlets around the country reported with absolute certainty that Brett Favre was contemplating retirement / planning to retire / announcing his intention to retire / retiring. I guess it depended on which source you believed. The overwhelming sentiment in our office was "I'll believe it when I see it."

And that got me to thinking about credibility - and how easy it is to lose.

You can't argue with Favre's performance. He will be a first ballot Hall of Fame quarterback, and will go in as the face of the modern era Green Bay Packers. He is an iron man who played through injury and was a natural leader. And because of the way he has presented himself in relation to the future of his career, he will forever be the punchline to a joke about retiring from a job or hobby.

Credibility is one of those things that is earned. It is defined using five factors - integrity, expertise, judgment, emotional intelligence and likability. When you look at the association world, this is incredibly important. There is more information being generated today then ever before. It's accessibility means that an avalanche of information is crowding in on the space which has been traditionally owned by associations - and one of the ways we will defend our turf is through credibility.

So, how are we going to keep our credibility in the face of all of this noise? We need to be authentic and transparent - both with the members we serve and with the staff we employ. We also need to be sure that key stakeholders, volunteers and others delivering our message are consistent and genuine. And we need to be sure that we continue to provide a hall of fame performance.

Skol, Vikings!

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