Commitments, Leadership And Reputation

My Reputation Preceeds Me
Your reputation preceeds you. From Grooover's Flickr photostream.

Want a boost to your brand, leadership and reputation? Keep your commitments, even when it hurts. It’s not just a moral calling going against the grain of cut throat capitalism. It is good business.

Think about what happens if you don’t keep your commitments or your word. You may have won in the short term, but you have damaged your credibility with those you created a commitment with. It can create resentment, unmet expectations and withdrawal.

Leadership in these situations pushes into issues and deals with any miscommunications or inability to deliver head on. If you can’t deliver, then communicate and reset expectations. If there is a misunderstanding, then force the conversation. If things have changed and you have new priorities then get it out in the open.

Otherwise, follow through and keep your commitments or your word. It may hurt, but there are numerous benefits in the long run:

  • You increase trust with others
  • Your conscience is clear
  • You build conviction in your abilities
  • You get more chances to do business
  • You learn to be more careful
  • You model leadership
  • You embrace failure
  • You can think bigger

There is a large set of advice out there that purports pragmatism. If something is too hard or not profitable any longer, then the insinuation that it is ok to withdraw, change your mind or avoid delivering becomes permissible. This may serve a short-term interest, but I can tell you that there are consequences over the long-term.

Business is messy. Things always miss the mark and expectations can be easily unmet. There are so many variables, dependencies and risks. However, your decision to be constant and focus on the value you are building within yourself is priceless. It is what opens up opportunities. The world is hungering for trustworthy people. You can choose this especially when it hurts to do so.

What are your thoughts?

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