Steps to Management Success – Step 22: Let Reliability Be Your Watchword

Written By Rick Frishman Published March 31st, 2010


Let Reliability Be Your Watchword

Let’s face it—it’s a risky world we live in. There’s cutthroat competition, human error, interpersonal friction, organizational inertia, and any number of unanticipated factors that can come along and screw up your project. That’s why the business world will always value someone who’s as good as his or her word—or better.

WHAT IT MEANS: Your word is your bond, so take your commitments very seriously. If you promise to do something, do it. If for some reason you can’t get it done, notify whomever you promised ASAP and offer feasible alternatives. Nevertheless, reliability isn’t just about being trustworthy; it’s also about doing everything you can to reinforce an image and reputation for reliability. True professionals: show up on time for meetings; deliver consistently good work on budget and on time; admit when they’re wrong and do their best to fix it; remain on an even keel emotionally; don’t undercut authority or disparage others; can be counted upon to “sweat the details,” manage their way around glitches, and get things done.

ACTION PLAN: Apply the above criteria to yourself. Is there an area or two in sore need of improvement? What, exactly, would you do differently? Also, think of three times in your career when your reliability factor took a direct hit. With the benefit of hindsight and experience, what proactive or corrective action could you have taken?

EVEN BETTER: Look for people in your organization or network who you feel are paragons of reliability—and then attempt to emulate them. Find out what makes them tick or seek their counsel on any pending reliability challenge. Also, make it clear to your reports that you expect superior reliability, and make it clear up front what that standard demands.

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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