Think of a mean tyrant. The world’s worst boss. The person you’d most hate to work for and one name comes to mind: George Steinbrenner.

For years, the media portrayed him as the boss from hell who fires people on a whim, chastises his employees in public and acts as if the world revolves around him.

In all those years, I believe George enjoyed that public portrayal as the bully factor allowed him to beat opponents and competitors to a pulp. Anyone facing George knew they would be in for a fight. Not exactly the win-win situation that I endorse highly.

Now that George is nearing the end of his reign, he is taking steps to ensure that his eternal image and legacy is not the mean tyrant, but the lovable philanthropist.

He is courting the press — and not veiled either — with his own admission that he wants to remake his image and the press is printing glowing reports of the wonderful things he did for his hourly workers who aren’t in the spotlight. George, apparently, is quite a guy1

Steinbrenner isn’t the first person to remake his image. Look at Alfred Nobel. The inventor of dynamite is remembered for bestowing the Nobel Peace Prize. Look at Joesph Pulitzer. The purveyor of lurid newspapers and scandal sheets is remembered for awarding the Pulitzer Prizes for outstanding newspaper reporting.

The list goes on and on.

So what does this mean for you?

Everything you do reflects on your public image. But unlike Steinbrenner, Nobel and Pulitzer, you and I don’t have the money and the influence with the media to remake your image in your later years. Best to make that image a positive one with the actions you do on a daily basis so when it is time to wonder about your legacy, you won’t have to wonder.

Dan Janal
Your Fearless PR LEADER