By Mike Neidle/Optimal Management

Making promises are just words, fulfilling them is delivering on them. In the real world that is often easier said than done. For example, promises made about repealing and replacing the ACA has been found to be more difficult to deliver on then promised, closing our borders to people from middle-eastern countries has been difficult to deliver on. The same may well hold for reworking the tax code, bringing high paying jobs back to the US and promises to deal with countries we disagree with, be it on currency manipulations, tariffs, or weapons of mass destruction. As a result of this, the approval rating of the administration has suffered, although a work-around may somehow be found.

This applies to promises vs. reality for running a business or doing one’s own job as well. Let’s look at two cases in point. I have flown well over a million miles with United and Delta Airlines with generally good experiences. Yet, United inflicted bodily injuries on a passenger, dragging him off a flight so that one of their employees could take his seat on an overbooked flight. So much for “Flying the Friendly Skies”. Their CEO apologize only after a huge backlash as their stock fell a ¼ of a $ billion the next day. Delta’s computer glitches which as are legendary, stranding thousands of customers after their system went down. This, for a company whose slogan is “The Worlds Most Trusted Airline”.

So what promises and commitments do you make to clients you do business with and people you work with? Do you tell your customers their order will delivered as promised, even if that is far from certain? Do you tell your boss that the project he gave you will be completed on time to make you look good for the moment, when you are in fact well behind schedule? Do you tell your subordinate that the raise you promised them has not even been requested yet?

If any of these things sound familiar, it might be time to take a close look at what you are saying and if your word can be counted upon. Whether you are the CEO of a big corporation burying your head in the sand after some debacle, instead of telling the truth to minimizing the further damage to your reputation. Or telling the truth to people who rely on you, even the news if not what they want to hear, because the facts will eventually come out. Once you lose your credibility it is hard to recover it. Think through what you are saying before you make promises that you can’t keep.

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