The Power of Endorsement


One of the most interesting things about writing a book is asking people for endorsements. You’re not only asking to put their name on the back of your book; you’re asking them to lend their credibility to you. You’re asking someone to leverage their name, their reputation, and even their company’s reputation to be an advocate for you. It’s true—endorsements are essential to successful book publishing and promotion. But endorsements also play an important role in many areas of our personal and professional lives.

We’re all looking for someone to endorse us, aren’t we? We desire for others to use their name on our behalf. We need references when we’re applying for a job or seeking new work. We need someone to vouch for us in our personal lives when we are trying to get a date. We need someone to recommend us when we’re trying sell our products and services. Whether it’s a business meeting or a conversation in the carpool line, we’re often asking or needing one person to speak on behalf of someone else. In fact, endorsement is one of the most powerful tools we can use to build our businesses or careers.

So, if endorsements are so important, how do you earn them? How do you find someone willing to stand up, speak on your behalf, and provide a testament about who you are and the work that you do?

I believe earning endorsement comes down to two essential elements: the quality of your work and the emotional connections you create.

1. The quality of your work.

People are not willing to put their names on something that’s not good or sub-par. One of the best ways to gain endorsement in life is to do good work. If you’re a painter, it means your workmanship is precise and consistent. If you’re a graphic designer, your artwork must be effective and unique. If you’re a writer, your words are clear and engaging. If you’re a restaurant owner, you create food that is satisfying and delicious. In your personal life, it means you live in a way that is above reproach.

So in your work, are you producing something that is worthy of endorsement?

2. An emotional connection.

Most of the time, quality alone won’t compel someone to endorse you and your work. They might approve of it, but it’s unlikely they will go to the effort to speak on your behalf unless they feel connected to you. For me, there has to be something beyond a “job well done” that compels me to spend my time, my energy, and my relational capital to promote a product or a person to other people. People make the mistake of believing their quality work is enough, but it takes more than that for somebody to be your advocate.

Are you making connections that compel people to endorse you?

If endorsement has been important to you in your journey, consider using your name to advance the career of somebody else. Who are you endorsing? Your endorsement can have a profound impact on someone’s professional success. We could take an extra step to speak on someone’s behalf, and it could be the missing piece that gives them an opportunity for a promotion at their company, it could change the trajectory of their career, and it might even dramatically improve the financial situation of their family.

This week, consider the people in your life who are willing to endorse you and your work. At the same time, think about someone you can promote and encourage by lending your name and reputation.

Try to earn endorsement more often and try to give endorsement more freely. We’re all on different personal and professional journeys, but each of us have the power and opportunity to help one another move forward.

I have a new book coming out June 26th called The Lens of Leadership. It’s all about perspective because I believe the way we view things changes how we do things. 

PRE-ORDER The Lens of Leadership

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Today, business means more than just mere products and services. Your organization needs to stand for something. Branding is what you tell the world; leadership is how you make it come true.

No one knows this dynamic better than Kevin Paul Scott.

Companies turn to Kevin for advice on how to up the meaning-quotient in their businesses, so that employees and customers alike champion the business as if it were their own.

Let Kevin come and teach your group about how to build a business and communicate corporate values in a way that resonates with consumers.

His speeches include:
• Building a Business with Meaning
• Leading When the Majority is Wrong
• In Changing Times, Hold to Unchanging Principles
• The War for Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent
• Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up