Being a Person
of Your Word
by Pegine Echevarria
My clients live in three
leadership worlds: military, corporate and university student leadership. In my experience I have found that in all three
worlds there is one common thread, your reputation is built on integrity—period.
Last week I had the honour
of seeing one of my staff members, (a humble, quiet, effective leader) honoured in front of 180 military leaders and recruiters.
He isn't a veteran or a soldier, yet he received loud, robust applause, because he is so rare. He keeps his word.
Says he will call you
at a certain date and time—he does—no matter what.
Promises to follow up
with you by a certain date—he does—no matter what.
Tells you he will get
back to you, he returns all phone calls within 24 hours or less.
Promises to send you a
report—he does—no matter what.
Can not do it, he tells
you. You always know where you stand.
Messes up, he owns up
He is my model for my
own behaviour. People trust leaders who follow through, do what they say they will and respect themselves and others.
Think of the leaders that
you know, work with and volunteer with. Do they follow through? When they say they will call, do they? When they make a mistake
or mess up do they fess up?
What do you think about
them? Do you trust them?
How about your venders?
Do they follow through? As representatives and leaders of their company, they are their company's reputation. When they don't
keep their word, how confident are you about their or product or service?
Few things can limit your
success as much as a reputation that is sullied, and your reputation becomes sullied when you don't follow through, or you
don't call when you say you will. These are simple tasks that can make or break a relationship and reputation.
Are you willing to fess
up and apologize for those times when:
You didn't call because
you were “too busy” or you didn't think it was important, or you thought they would not be there anyway.
You promised to follow
up by a certain date and did not.
You didn't return calls
within 24 hours for whatever reason.
You committed to take
action and did not.
You said "yes, I can"
but you knew that “no, you couldn't.”
Are you willing to fess
up? Are you willing to have the courage and conviction to be a leader? To lead like you know you were meant to in your life,
work, family and community?
Think about your integrity
and each area of your life. Do you keep your word to yourself? Taking care of yourself as promised, showing up on time for
those moments you carved out for your own well being.
At work, do you do the
things I listed above?
Do you keep your word
with your wife, husband, kids? Do you follow through on the promises you made to them?
How about the community?
Do your volunteer activities play second fiddle to the rest of your life? Do you neglect commitments, promises and agreements?
Are others questioning your integrity? Are you the person the committee says not to bother with because you never follow through?
If you have experienced
any of the above, read on for strategies to help you be a leader with integrity.
Being a leader in your
life and work isn't easy, but it is life transforming.