So What’s In a Name?


This automobile has in no way lived up to it’s name, ‘Georgia’s Most Reliable’. Maybe at one time, but not anytime recently. I found it ironic that the lettering was the part of the finish that was weathering well.

Obviously not everything lives up to it’s name. Products let us down, investments with words like ‘fidelity’ or ‘lifetime’ don’t always stand the test of time. ‘World’s Best Coffee’ may not be true with every cup, or for every restaurant that touts the phrase on their sign. Sometimes street names change and if you have not traveled along that road for a while it can turn into a big surprise.  Then there are other names we give things – mother, father, teacher, friend – where sometimes it is true and trusted and honored. While other people given those names leave us cold and flat.  Some mothers are amazing and some are non-existent. Wisdom tells us that not all things named a certain way live up to their moniker. So it is hard to judge someone by their name, even though we do it all the time.

I once had an employee tell me they didn’t trust people until they earned it. I had another person on the same team tell me they trust people until they are proven wrong. For one they trusted the name until it was proven untrustworthy, while the other made the name prove itself before any confidence was instilled. Both had valid reasons why, opposite ends of the spectrum, yet both had their right to their own best practice.

So what about your name? How have your habits and behaviors built people’s ability to trust you? Does your name mean anything or have you ruined it by your own poor decisions and actions? Are you the person you say you are, and do your actions and reactions over time confirm people’s ability to trust you? Are you building your name, rebuilding your name, or working to determine what you want your name to represent? The things we own fall apart, break down, or even get destroyed but our name travels with us all our days. What does your name mean to others and how do you know? Who do you know that will honestly tell you the truth so you can sustain or fortify what your name means to others?

Today is a good day to confirm what your name means…and if you don’t like it, change your actions.


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