A leader is a master of reputation

Dag Heward Mills11 Bishop Dag Heward-Mills

Wed, 20 Sep 2017 Source: Dag Heward-Mills

Serpents are masters at generating a fearful reputation. Snakes basically have a reputation of being killing machines. The general public simply views a snake as a dangerous creature that must be killed. Being fearful of something that has the potential to harm you is quite normal. Being afraid of snakes is perfectly natural and shows the fearful reputation snakes have acquired.

The majority of snakes are either non-venomous or possess venom that is not harmful to humans. A snake only bites a person when threatened or alarmed. There are more serious injuries associated with using a chair than there are from snakes. Horses kill more people than snakes do and yet horse riding remains a favourite pastime. Can you believe that statistically more people are killed by bee-stings than by snakes? In the United States alone over a thousand people are struck by lightning every year with around one hundred fatalities whilst there are only four to ten deaths from snakebites.

Actually, only seven percent of reported snake bites are due to accidentally being bitten. The major causes of snakebites are the following: trying to kill the snake; trying to catch the snake; trying to move the snake; trying to handle the snake and harassing the animal. So you can see that very few people are actually accidentally bitten by snakes.

Serpents have built up a fearful reputation that is difficult to dislodge. Deep fear of snakes stems from their reputation for aggression, speed and venom toxicity. The reputation of snakes also comes from stories and legends that have been passed down from generation to generation.

There are many stories and legends about the black mamba, which gives it an awesome and fearsome reputation. Some people claim that the black mamba can bite its tail to make a hoop, so that it will be able to roll down a mountain. As the mamba gets to the bottom of the mountain, it straightens its body out like a missile and attacks at high speed! You wouldn’t want to meet one of those.

Another story about the black mamba claims that it has such high intelligence, enabling it to plot an attack on humans. It is said to ambush a car by waiting along the road. The black mamba will then coil itself around the wheel of the automobile to strike at the driver when he gets home. Another popular story claims that the black mamba can balance its entire body at the tip of its tail.

When the black mamba is cornered, it stands its ground and displays incredible aggressive behaviour. A group of people is usually required to kill it, as it is quite fast and agile, striking in all directions at the same time. People are known to have died within twenty minutes of being bitten by a black mamba. I assure you, you would not want to meet one of these black mambas!

But did you know that bees kill more people than snakes every year? Did you know that horses kill more people than snakes but somehow do not inspire such fear and terror in human beings? Such is the power of a reputation, whether good or bad!

It is important to build up a good reputation by building up a history of accomplishments. A leader generates faith in his followers by doing the things he says he will do. No matter how the statistics put it, snakes have a convincing history of killing accomplishments. That is why they are feared! A recent study reveals that 5million people in the world are bitten each year by snakes. Of those, 40,000 die! In India alone, about 15,000 die every year from snake bites. These facts inspire fear in anyone.

Politicians all over the world have built up a reputation of promising things they cannot and will not do. Many politicians have built up a reputation of pretense, corruption and wickedness. The voter turn-out statistics of every country reveals how little faith people have in politicians.

King David’s reputation was built on solid achievements that he had chalked. He was the one who killed Goliath the giant. No one could take that away from him. “And it came to pass as they came, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Philistine, that the women came out of all cities of Israel, singing and dancing, to meet king Saul, with tabarets, with joy, and with instruments of music. And the women answered one another as they played, and said, Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousand” (1 Samuel 18:6-7)

Dear leader, what reputation do you have? What are you known for? Be a man of your word and you will build a good reputation for doing what you said you would do. When you raise money, make sure you use it for what you said you would. Do what you said you would do and build for yourself a strong reputation!

Columnist: Dag Heward-Mills