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Passion, People and Principles


post # 474 — December 11, 2007 — a Careers post

Consistency, dependability and regularity work: occasional peaks of excellence don’t.

For example, always meet your deadlines.

If you are asked to do something, make sure you know exactly what it is and when it is due.

If you have doubts about your ability to complete on time or about the task’s priority or importance, raise your concern with your manager or client immediately.

It is OK to need more time as long as you ask for it ahead of time. It is OK to struggle and ask for help.

It is not OK to break your commitments. The fastest and surest way to fail is to break your word.



Please enter your comment David… I always told my staff that I could always handle problems but I couldn’t handle “surprises”. Not meeting a promised deadline without ample advance warning was a “surprise” and all staff knew it was a no no. My staff knew that help and consoltation was always readily available from the team. Staff knew if they personally looked bad in front of the client, then it reflected poorly on the entire team

posted on December 11, 2007

maz iqbal said:

Keeping your word – doing what you said you agreed to do when you agreed to do it and at the implied/explicit level of quality – is the bedrock of ‘workability’an organisational life. Why? Because organisation implies interdependence: I count on you to do what you promised to do so that I can in turn honour my promise to others.

Unfortunately, many many people do not get this at an emotional level. These people do not relate to their word powerfully and do not get their impact on others. I suspect that this has a lot to do with the fear of having that difficult conversation upfront. It is emotionally easier to hope that everygthing will work out: the other party will not notice, will not call you on it or that you will be able to wriggle out of it.

posted on December 11, 2007

Shama Hyder said:

Very True David! An important aspect of long term marketing success is keeping commitments.

posted on December 11, 2007

Mike said:

You’re dead on, David! We have many smart people in our technical field, but very few who exhibit professionalism. We find that new hires with experience rarely work out because our expectations are so high regarding consistency, dependability, and also communication.

A couple of years ago I led a discussion on professionalism for a group of new hires (most fresh out of school) during their onboarding phase, and they cited our administrative staff as “model professionals”. Good communication, consistent, and always dependable. What an eye opener – and a new level of respect for our admins (they really are great).

posted on December 11, 2007

Anita Bruzzese said:

It’s obvious these are the things that drive a boss crazy, so it’s amazing that more people don’t follow them. I’ll add to the list: write things down — don’t expect your memory to recall the details; be organized; be a good listener; make sure you’re always aware of the business goals (they can shift with the ever-changing marketplace); and treat every person you work with as valuable.

Anita Bruzzese


posted on December 11, 2007

Wally Bock said:

It is said that the late advertising legend David Ogilvy used to have a sign posted in his agency that said, “It reputable businesses promises are always kept.”

posted on December 12, 2007

Nick McCormick said:

Amen David. Unfortunately, very few commitments are kept in today’s workplace. In fact, I find it to be the exception. The “I’m so busy” excuse is the out. Good news is that if you do meet your commitments, you will stick out like a sore thumb… and that’s a good thing.

posted on December 12, 2007

Jim Stroup said:

I just have to join the chorus of endorsement for this sentiment. It is truly amazing how few people take it seriously. It is also amazing how appreciated a reputation for reliability is – probably because it is so rare. But it is also fragile, and can be lost if you are careless – reliable means every time.

Thanks for this great post!

posted on December 12, 2007