It happened a little over a year ago. Status Labs, a firm that since 2012 had prided itself on its ability to help clients manage their on-line presence, found itself on the receiving end of the internet’s tendency to grind down those whom it doesn’t like. In an inspiring article for Huffington Post, Darius Fisher, the company’s president, explained just how Status Labs managed to recoup, recover, and emerge triumphant from the ordeal. “No one understands a crisis,” Fisher asserts, “quite like someone who has experienced their own.” And the organization certainly had a crisis on its hands. The CEO at the time, a man who had a secondary career as a real-estate developer, had committed an outrageously antisocial act that rightly brought down the anger and resentment of the city of Austin, where Status Labs is located. The backlash against the company was frightening, and its young and creative employees were disheartened. But they were driven to communicate the truth about their situation and to manage their own reputation. The first step was to get rid of the CEO, the second to make this step public through an open letter. The Status Labs employees then made up their minds to become even more pro-active: they began volunteering for a variety of local nonprofits and charities. The new leadership team decided to create a stronger internal bond by initiating a stock-option plan, catering lunches once a week, publishing an in-house newsletter, and insisting upon monthly staff meetings. The result? A vastly improved on-line reputation and a happier, better place to work.
In participating in the repair of Status Labs’ reputation, Darius Fisher has proven his own expertise in digital image management. The way that an organization or an individual appears on the first page of Google search results has become utterly critical to success or failure. As The Daily Beast’s Sally Kohn puts it, Fisher’s goal is “inoculating clients if possible in advance or else repairing damage after the fact.”
Under Fisher’s management, Status Labs has grown to be one of the global players in reputation management, with over 1500 clients in more than 35 countries around the world. But Darius Fisher also seems to be a man who knows how to manage his team through wisdom, generosity, and compassion. In a recent article for Forbes.com, Fisher catalogued three ways to exercise leadership: creating incentivized goals, acknowledging their successes, and communicating with them. Follow Darius on Twitter to keep up with his news and events @fisherdarius.