Not keeping your word in life

'I do, but no promises.'

If you don’t keep your word in life, why should anyone trust you?

'I do, but no promises.'
‘I do, but no promises.’

It is simple really. When you fail to do what you promised, no matter what valid reason you may have, others won’t trust you. Rightly so. When you commit to doing something you do it, no matter what the cost or hardship.

In life, everyone has challenges to do their job. Even when something is outside of your control you have to be creative and find a way to get it done. If you can’t conceive of a way that it can be done, then you shouldn’t accept the responsibility of doing it.

Let me say this again. If you rely always on the easiest way to do something, and you can’t do it the easy way, you should have several alternative methods to accomplish the task.

I see over and over in business and life people who promise they can be responsible for something but don’t do it. For example, in some businesses, people have checklists of things they are responsible for each day. Now there might come circumstances that make it difficult to fulfill those checklists, however, no matter how bad things get you have to do those checklists.

In IT do you think I can tell someone “Oh well the Internet provider stopped providing us service? I guess we don’t have the Internet now?” Of course not. I have to have a backup plan so that no matter how bad things get they still work. For that reason, I often ask my supervisors to approve backup methods so that workers can continue to work no matter what happens.

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Often managers will say that the cost of those backup methods is not justified compared to the cost to the business of an outage. In truth, they simply take chances that nothing bad is going to happen, and if it does happen then they will find something to take the fall for it.

I have seen this in past jobs. In one job I told a manager that the Internet connection firewall we had was terrible and we needed to replace it. Of course, it failed, and I really struggled because I didn’t have the backup piece of equipment I needed. I got lucky. I was able to use percussive maintenance to bring it to life one last time and that day my boss approved a new purchase of equipment.

If you just plan for when things are going well, you will always fail. You have to plan for when things are bad, and they go from bad to worse. Then when and if it happens, you don’t worry because you have a plan. You execute the plan and things get better. This is such a simple lesson and such a hard one for people to accept.

Your word is life to others. Keep it or don’t give it.