Do you want an easy way to stand out in a competitive business world? Well, let me first clarify that it's easy in that it can be said in one simple two word sentence. Being able to do it though is an extremely rare accomplishment, and what makes that most unfortunate is that it is a choice. Be reliable. There is the two word sentence. Be reliable.
Many reading this are probably thinking "okay, yeah I'm reliable", but are you? Do you do exactly what you say you are going to do from the smallest of things to the most complex of projects? It's unfortunate that for many the definition of reliability has become a bit watered down and compromised. However, I'm not talking about following through most of the time. The reliable I'm referring to is a "do what you say" attitude that leaves no room for exception, loose interpretation, or hope that you can follow through. This is what makes it so rare, and therefore so valuable, in a business world that is littered with people trying to distinguish themselves from each other.
Take a minute to consider the people you have worked for, the people who might have worked for you, and the people you have worked with. If you are like me, that may be a very long list. However, from that list there are likely only a very few that have left an impression of utter and complete reliability on you. These are the people who simply do what they say they will or can do. They make you feel safe knowing that you don't have to question in any way that whatever was promised will be delivered on time or most likely early. They don't make you wait or wonder. They give you peace of mind and maybe even surprise you by doing things you can't even remember asking for. It would be my hope that my name is on someone's short list, but I know that I am working on this every day, and that's exactly what it takes. Challenge yourself to start looking at the smallest of things. No one is perfect, but we all have complete control over syncing what we say and what we do.
Be the person that does that for others, and you will find yourself in rare air that will pay off for you. Here are five quick tips to become that kind of reliable.
- Don't BS or overpromise. Do only what you can, and say so if you can't.
- Proactively communicate. Don't make people wonder. Reach out before they begin to.
- Start & Finish. Even if not convenient, take initiative and provide closure.
- Bring your best every day. Not on some days...all days, every day.
- Have pride. Honoring your word (big or small) is your character. Period.