Leaders keep their words and follow through by not taking on too much.
Every time you follow through on a commitment you build trust. Most people tend to agree with this statement and focus on large commitments – things like deadlines, large projects, monthly meetings, etc. But they miss two key things:
- Every time you say you will do something is a commitment, no matter how large or small
- Every time you break a commitment, you dissolve trust
Many will say that it is not a big deal if you didn’t call back when you say you would or send that follow up email. Don’t let them fool you.
Small commitments are just as important, if not more important than the larger ones. The more you fail to follow through on the little things, the less trust people will have in you.
Leaders are responsible for setting the model of what is to be expected throughout the organization. Thus, if the leaders begin not keeping their word, staff may be forgiving, but you will see them begin to do the same thing. Why didn’t they send that follow up email? Because you didn’t last week. Why didn’t they call that customer at the agreed time? Because last month when you arrived 30 minutes late for your meeting, you brushed it off as okay.
Make keeping your word the most important thing you do each and every day. And if you’re not sure you can deliver on your promises – don’t make them. Learn to say no or be honest if you’re not sure you can actually do something in the time set for it.