The Golden Rule, often stated as “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” is also known as the ethic of reciprocity. The concept is either ‘treat people like you’d like to be treated,’ if phrased in a positive manner, or ‘don’t treat people in ways you wouldn’t want to be treated,’ if worded in a negative fashion.

The concept is ancient and nearly universal. Versions of the ethic of reciprocity appeared in Ancient Egypt, Babylon, China, and Greece, all appearing between 2000-500 BCE.

Some form of the Golden Rule appears in nearly every major religion, including Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, and more. At the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, 143 leaders of the world’s major faiths signed a declaration that the Golden Rule is one of the common principles upon which all of the world’s religions agree.

The Golden Rule and Developing a Reputation

The link between the Golden Rule and reputations was eloquently stated by business author and strategist Fred Reichheld in an October 25, 2011, post on the Harvard Business Review website. “Reputation is earned through the simple, age-old concept of the Golden Rule: Treat others as you yourself would want to be treated. Each time you live up to the Golden Rule, your reputation is enhanced; each time you fail, it is diminished. And the mathematics of long-term financial success—revenues, profits, cash flow—square perfectly with this scorecard.”

The Golden Rule, Developing a Reputation, and Professional Athletes

Brian Mitchell retired after 14 years playing in the National Football League. To this day, he remains in the NFL’s record books in second place for all time yardage, with over 23,000 combined return, rushing, and receiving yards.

During his playing career, Mitchell saw too many players who did not practice the Golden Rule. Their actions may not have hurt them while they were stars in the league, but the reputations they earned didn’t help them in their post-playing careers. Mitchell, who has a successful post-NFL career as a radio and television host, says, “Your reputation and how you care for others will play big roles in how your life plays out.”

In addition to his broadcast career, Mitchell also speaks to various groups, including current and former athletes, business leaders, aspiring athletes, and more. He has dynamic presentations about the importance of developing a strong reputation (including applying the Golden Rule), the value of goal setting, and more. If you know of a group that would benefit from Mitchell’s inspirational and helpful message and would like to book him, email him at [email protected] or contact him by phone at 703-688-2399.

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