Reputation Degeneration by Continuation of Association

By
Mortgage and Lending with Crescent Bank & Trust

In the last 12 months I've accepted several invitations to attend "live" networking groups. In the case of two of the meetings, my impression of the group itself was negative enough that I chose not to attend a 2nd time. In both cases, my negative opinion came about because the person who led the meeting was selling the equivalent of snake oil. One meeting is particularly memorable because the "president" touted his investment company which guaranteed double-digit returns. 

Was I networking with Bernie Madoff or with "Sir" Stanford, the subsequent "Ponzi-du-jour"? No, but the same principle applies. Legitimate financial advisors are taught to never, ever make those types of claims. Had I consented to filling the "banker seat" in either group, I would've become a snake-oil salesman through guilt by association. "Birds of a feather!" is the way Grandma would've put it.

What the Ponzis, Madoffs, and Stanfords of the world stand to gain by associating with those of us who have worked hard to build favorable reputations in a community pales in comparison to what we stand to lose by associating ourselves with them.

Good reputations take years to build but can be ruined in the blink of an eye. I've continued to actively network, but I've carefully steered myself away from those particular groups. I recommend that you do the same.

Posted by

North Metro Atlanta community banker, Woodstock, GA

Comments (5)

Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

In troubling financial times these guys come out of the wood work to swindle money away from desperate people.

Mar 04, 2009 01:39 PM
Michelle Viggiano
Four Winds Healthy Home Carpet & Air Duct Cleaning - Scottsdale, AZ
healthyhomeaz

Hi Clark ~ it appears that some person's snake oil salesman is anothers guru.  And sometimes in such varying insidious degrees that the operative word " intentionally" becomes blurred. Usually in areas of our lives that are the most crucial... Thank you for the post.

Mar 04, 2009 03:02 PM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Simon & Michelle - Thank you both for reading my post! Michelle, You're exactly right that "unintentional" often appears "intentional. I also should have added that, when associating with those whose claims are too good to be true, we run the risk of damaging our reputations TWICE; first by association ourselves with the snake-oil guy, and secondly by running the risk of artificially raising his reputation in the eyes of others via his association with us.

To me, the latter is the most troubling risk.

Clark Blackwell, Commercial Real Estate Lender, Crescent Bank & Trust, Woodstock (Metro Atlanta), GA

Mar 04, 2009 11:31 PM
Bob Hirsch
The AVD Group - Bellflower, CA

Clark, I liked what you had to say and I also really liked the title.  Very clever, well done.

Mar 05, 2009 01:39 PM
Clark Blackwell
Crescent Bank & Trust - Woodstock, GA

Bob, Thank you for reading my post. As an AR Newbie (and also a blogging rookie), I'm learning that titles are extremely important.  Please read my post about SBA loans (posted a few seconds ago, probably not even visible yet).

Clark Blackwell, Commercial Real Estate Lender, Crescent Bank, Woodstock (Metro Atl), GA

Mar 06, 2009 02:14 AM