The accounting definition of goodwill describes it as the established reputation of a business, quantifiable by taking the fair market value of the tangible assets of a company, subtracting that amount from the full purchase price, blah, blah, blah.
The accounting definition is important, but the goodwill I’m interested in is your personal goodwill, which is measured with the answers to these questions (in no particular order):
- Do you have a personal reputation as a good person?
- Are you a person who can be trusted?
- Are you reliable?
- Do you work with others based on honesty and integrity first, above all else?
- When people describe you to others, do they do so fondly or derisively?
- Are you a person who people want to be around?
- Do you repel people, or gather people?
- Do you have a track record of acting fairly in all situations?
- Do you serve others first?
- When the proverbial chips are down and everything is going wrong, can others rely on you to rise above the chaos, identify root causes, and get to work solving the problems?
- Are you known as the person who runs from trouble?
- Are you the one who looks to blame rather than solve?
The answers to these questions will matter more to your long-term success than any college degree or career accomplishment you may achieve.
Your actions and attitudes will show people your answers more vividly than anything you say.
It’s easy to say words like honesty, integrity, trustworthiness, or empathy. The real test is how you act and what you choose to do, whether or not other people are watching.
Show me a team of people who don’t value their own personal goodwill or that of their teammates, and I’ll show you a team that fails 99 times out of 100.
The most important choices you’ll make in life are the ones that either add value to, or take value away from your personal goodwill.
Choose wisely. Your happiness and success depend on it.