Here’s A Little Story About Reputation

Post written by Mic Johnson, Blog Coach | LinkedIn Trainer | Website Builder | Rational Optimist | @MJMeetings Cheerleader | #micnuggets | Jayhawk

I was recently invited by my friend Christy Rogers, owner of Training Umbrella, to attend the monthly meeting for the Kansas City Chapter of the Association for Talent Development.

Christy thought it would be beneficial to meet some Learning and Development professionals who may be interested in learning about the LinkedIn Training we do for organizations. Additionally, Christy is in one of my peer advisory groups and is a past-President of this chapter, so I also wanted to learn more about her and her involvement in this organization.

degreedDuring the presentation by Lori Eshelman of Degreed, Inc., there were several stats about how people learn, and how learning/training is changing in the business world, that were really interesting. I’ve included some of them at the bottom of this post for your reference.

While I was at the event, a very cool thing happened that I wanted to share. Before the event started, a woman named Mona Raglow came up to me and said:

“I’ve seen you at several events over the last few months and I’ve always wanted to talk to you, but the timing never worked out. I was just talking to someone else here and your name came up and then you walked in, so I figured it was a sign!”

I went on to thank her for saying hello and then asked why she was interested in meeting me. The next thing she said was unexpected, but a welcome surprise.

“Because of your reputation.”

Mona told me how she originally heard about me through my friend, the talented Shawn Kinkade of Aspire Business Development, and how she’d heard nothing but good things about me and Blue Gurus. I can’t tell you how good it felt to hear that because Jason and I have worked VERY hard over the last eight years to build a solid reputation in the city.

With that in mind, I thought I’d share a few of the things we do as part of our culture/brand to create a reputation that people can trust and believe in.

  1. We lead with helping people.
    In fact, when I met Mona, in a few short minutes I gave her some tips and advice on how she could get her blog going (which is one of her goals for 2017). She isn’t a client. She didn’t pay me. But I wanted to help her. Jason and I routinely do small…and not-so-small…gestures like that. Not only is it core to our DNA as individuals, but we believe that if we lead by helping other people, the rest will take care of itself.
  2. The best follow up in Kansas City.
    If we tell you we’re going to do something, we do it. Every time. And if something unexpected comes up, we let you know. Ask anyone who knows us and anyone who has ever worked with us if they’ve ever had to wait days for an email response, or a return phone call, or for us to make a change on their website, etc. It rarely, if ever, happens. We’re not going to be the ones getting in the way of progress. We always keep the ball moving downfield.
  3. We blog every single week and have for the last 8 years.
    If you’ve read this blog for years or are reading it for the first time, first of all…THANK YOU. Secondly, our blog is a way for us to share stories that happen in our lives and in our business. We share LinkedIn tips, we share technical tips, we share favorite restaurants, we give shout outs to awesome people in our lives, we write posts that sometimes inspire and sometimes make you laugh…and why do we do it? It goes back to #1 above…it’s just another way we lead by helping people.
  4. We CARE.
    It’s really hard to put into words how much Jason and I care about the people in our lives…from our families, to our friends, to our peer advisory groups, to our clients. All I can tell you is that it all starts and ends with…you guessed it…#1 above. We love helping people and we derive a lot of personal satisfaction of knowing we made someone’s day, week, month or LIFE better becasue of something we did to help them.
  5. We show up. 
    Not just to networking events, peer advisory groups, and events in the city…but we show up ready to go with our clients every day. We give them everything we’ve got and make sure we’re one of the business (and often personal) relationships they can count on.
  6. We’re honest. 
    This one should go without saying, but a lot of people pay lip service to it. We don’t. We’ll tell you what we think, even if it isn’t the easiest thing to hear sometimes. We do it because…remember #4…we care. All we want is for the people in our lives to be happy, healthy and productive. So if there’s something we can do to help them get there, we do it.

What about you? What do you do to build your reputation? What other experiences have you had with Blue Gurus that you’d be willing to share? Make a note in the Comments section below or send us an email to and/or

As promised, here are those interesting stats from the event (based on a survey of 512 people):

*Only 38% of learning and development professionals think they’re ready to meet the needs of tomorrow’s learners.
*85% of people said they learn things for work by searching online at least once a week. Nearly 70% learn from peers or by reading articles and blogs every week. 53% learn from videos in any given week.
*Workers spend about 1% of the average work week (37 minutes) on their employers’ training, but invest 3.3 hours a week on their own.
*61% would put in even more time on their own if they got some kind of professional credit.
*3 of 4 people invested their own money (an average of $339 each) in career-related learning last year.
*People spend 70% of their time learning on electronic devices and that still happens on the PC. But smartphones (17%) and tablets (13%) account for 30% of their digital development. 77% of workers say they do at least some of thir learning on a smartphone or tablet.
*Reasons people list for not doing more workplace learning: 1. Not enough time 2. Not enough guidance or direction 3. Not enough recognition or reward 4. Not engaging enough 5. Too hard to find

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