We’ve all heard the saying that “a person is only as good as their word.” Simply put, it is our ability to keep the promises we make that really counts. This unassuming, yet often difficult practice of “being our word”, defines who we are. It is our personal brand. I used to think that I was very good at being my word. At work, I was considered reliable and always got the job done, on time. I was a real ‘go-to’ guy. Yet, my former wife said I was totally unreliable. For instance, I would often promise to be home by 7pm and arrive home by 8pm without even bothering to call her to say I’ll be late. To her, I was disrespectful, uncaring and unloving.

Keeping My Word Retains My Power

Not being my word diminished me in her eyes. My inaction created me as small and unreliable to her. Eventually, she had enough, packed her bags and left with our two small children. This was my watershed moment and it was devastating. I felt distraught and left searching for answers. What I discovered was that in my mind I automatically filtered my promises. If I considered my promise important, I delivered, on time. Yet, if I deemed my promise not so important, I would often fail to deliver on time, or not at all. I did not consider being reliable for my former wife to be important. Thankfully I’ve come a long way since then.

Keeping All Promises is All Important

Following my divorce, I realised that keeping all my promises is all-important. If I want keep my power and occur to others as reliable, I am not free to pick and choose which promises I will or won’t keep. To be a man of my word, to have integrity is the path I chose for myself years ago. I’ve found this way of being works for me. I commit to doing something and make it work, simply because I choose to. I plan. I put structures in place to ensure I finish my report a day early; to make that phone call on time; to arrive a few minutes early to be at the meeting on time. In doing so, I demonstrate respect for other people and, importantly, I do not diminish myself with them. I continue to this day to work hard to keep my personal brand strong and powerful.

Lack of Integrity is Killing Business

About three years ago, I was between jobs and I worked part-time as a landscape gardener for a few months. On several occasions my co-workers and I waited for hours for a load of soil or a skip bin to be delivered. Some days we were sent home without ever lifting a shovel, not once! In these moments, I saw first-hand how “a lack of integrity kills business.” Failing to deliver something that costs clients’ money, will have them think twice before returning to a business that has failed them. Poor service is a poor brand statement.

The question is are you willing to look hard and honestly and see where you can start “being your word?” I am in no doubt, when we do, we’ll find many ways we can stop letting ourselves down. We have the power to choose to be responsible and have integrity with our word. Strong businesses and powerful teams are comprised of responsible people committed to being their word. Powerful people deliver on time, simply because they choose to. They focus on causing results not providing excuses! Will you choose this for yourself?

In the sage words of Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Four Agreements, “Be impeccable with your word and say only what you mean.” In doing so we create a powerful life.

Do you want to elevate your integrity and take your business or performance to a whole new level ? Contact me today for a complimentary discovery session to explore the value of 1:1 leadership coaching.