Steps to Management Success – Step 76: Let Your Word Be Your Bond . . . and Your Reputation

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 2nd, 2010


Let Your Word Be Your Bond . . . and Your Reputation

When it comes to business agreements, your word or handshake should be your bond. Make sure to earn and maintain a reputation for honoring your agreements.

WHAT IT MEANS: These days, everything is documented to the max for legal and security precautions—and certainly it’s good to have all the i’s dotted and the t’s crossed—but don’t let the tail wag the dog. If you and your counterpart have basically agreed to something, don’t allow the deal to fall apart over trivialities and technicalities. If the agreement is one you can live with, then make it a done deal ASAP.

ACTION PLAN: Act as if the deal were done. Place an order. Do the very next thing you can do to work toward sealing the deal. In other words, start living up to your end of the deal—and do so with a sense of urgency. Why? Because deals have a certain momentum, and I’ve seen quite a few business deals die because of bureaucratic inertia. Once you’ve given your word—or handshake—you owe it to your reputation (and your company’s) to make your agreement a fait accompli.

EVEN BETTER: As soon as possible following your agreement, send an e-mail to your counterpart summarizing its main points. This will help ensure that you are on the same page and seal the deal. It might even make life a little easier for the lawyers—not that there’s anything wrong with that.

(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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