Do what you said you were going to do, the way you said you were going to do it. Sounds pretty simple, but of all the fundamentals this is the one I have to work at every day.
We make commitments every day and every one we agree to allows us the opportunity to build trust with the person we made that commitment to. In my life I have made a lot of commitments — to my wife, my kids, my friends, my co-workers and my customers. I think the measure of a person is the trust built by making commitments and then doing what you said you would do. It allows all of us to function effectively, knowing we can count on one another.
Every commitment we make is important. Growing up I was involved in a lot of sports. I remember always asking my parents if they would be coming to watch. They always said they would be there and were always the first in the stands. Sounds like such a simple request and every time I came to count on them to be there. I came to trust that every time I stepped on the field my parents would be there for me.
Another memory that shaped how I approach things today was when my father would commit to do something. My father was an excellent carpenter and was always being asked to build something for someone. He would always take a minute to think before giving his answer. I remember asking him why he always had to think about his response. I can still hear his response to this day. He said, “Once I give my word to do something, I am committed to it. I want people to have faith in my word and trust that I will come through for them.” Wow —– his reputation was built one commitment at a time.
How many times do people promise to do something, and then simply don’t get it done? How do you feel when that happens to you? Treat every commitment knowing that it’s building your reputation, one promise at a time.