10 Ways Leaders Build a Good Name

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“A good name is more desirable than great riches;

to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.”

Proverbs 22:1

What’s in a name? For leaders, just about everything.

I’m not just talking about your reputation, although your reputation is a part of your name. And I’m not just talking about your personal brand, although again, that’s part of it.

No, for a leader, your name communicates the very essence of who you are. It’s your character, it’s your history, it’s your values and one day it will be your legacy.

All of these, and far more, are wrapped up in your name.

If your name is strong and admired it will amplify the impact of your leadership. A good name is like a leadership calling card; before you even open your mouth your name communicates that your voice is one to be listened to and respected.

And that’s why it is so important to build and nurture a strong name.


  • Keep your word

  • Extend grace

  • Be humble

  • Respect others

  • Work hard

  • Honor leaders

  • Offer assistance

  • Be generous

  • Be optimistic

  • Show compassion

The point is that your good name will have a lot more to do with who you are than with what you accomplish.

Recently my son John and his wife informed Nora and me that they are expecting their first child, and that they knew it would be a boy. Amid the celebration of this great news came the additional honor that they would be naming the boy William, which is my first name.

What this honor signified was that they considered my name as being worthy to pass along to their son.

As I reflected on this, I noted as well that Nora and I named John in honor of my own father, who’s middle name was John. We had considered his name as being worthy to pass along to our son.

My father’s first name? William. As is mine. As will be our grandson’s.

What’s in a name?

For leaders, just about everything.

the author

Scott Cochrane

Lifelong learner, practitioner and coach of leadership, across more than 50 countries. Follower of Jesus, husband of Nora, grateful parent and grandparent.


  1. Great post. I’m passing on to my nephew and his wife who just had their first child and named him after my nephew’s father. It’s a name he’ll be proud to answer to because his grandfather is a good man.

  2. Thank you Susan. It says a lot about your nephew’s father that his name will be passed on in this way. A person’s name really matters, doesn’t it.

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