If you want to succeed, be known as someone who lives by their word and honors commitments. I've been hearing way too many people lament on broken promises, commitments that aren't kept, appointments that are forgotten or tossed aside for something better and for promises made that are hollow with no intention of honoring them.

In one of my book interview conversations we spoke about how all too often people state something and then don't do it. People take their word so lightly. Why say something that you're not going to do?

We have loyalty to businesses and professionals who value our time, energy and business. No matter what the deal, if we feel as if we're screwed in the process, we'll hesitate to go back. If it happens a second time we'll end up returning to or searching for the place that believes in authentic customer service.

It happens in relationships, families, friendships, partnerships, all realms of our life. If we feel we've been set aside for something or someone 'better' that comes along, we won't stick around for long. I see it happening with social and business climbers. They made a commitment to do something or see someone but if someone more famous or better connected wants to book something, they're quick to cancel.

Think twice before making that cancellation. That person just might end up being your boss someday. Being set aside is something they will never forget.

"The moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now." - Goethe

Years ago I adopted the motto "I live my life in direct proportion to the commitments I make and keep". We seem to live in a throw-away world where we throw away people by disrespecting or ignoring them, throw away jobs as we run from what might be difficult, rather than learning from difficulty, run towards something we might think is easier, when it usually isn't and throw away things when they lose their novelty.

When we honour our commitments, we honour ourselves and those we've committed to. If for some reason the status quo has changed, then we still honour ourselves when, if need be, the commitments are redefined and not ignored or not thrown away.

For me, that's called authenticity.


Donna Karlin, CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder of 'A Better Perspective' has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching with global senior organizational leaders.

Donna is an author, speaker and lectures internationally. Her work has been written up in Fast Company Magazine, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, The Boston Globe,...

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