By Adebola Alabi
A promise is a commitment to do or not do something. People of high integrity keep their promises. As a manufacturer, your promise is to deliver quality products on time within schedule in a cost-effective manner. As a service provider, your promise to your customer is to provide top notch services that will keep your customer engaged and happy. As an employee, your promise to your employer is to add value to the company and in return your employer commits to paying for your time at the end of each month.
As a father, when you promise to take your son to a school night game, he expects you to keep your commitments. Healthy relationships are built upon foundation of promises of loyalty, trustworthiness, and show of love by both couples. If you are a credit card user or if you have a loan with a bank, to maintain your integrity with your financial institution, you must keep your promise of paying your loans as at when due.
Every year politicians all over the world also make promises to their citizens, they pledge to create more jobs, build infrastructures, deliver access to great healthcare, and make life a little bit better for the people. The ones that kept their promises are often rewarded with another term in the office and they are held in high esteem in the society after their time of service. Companies that keep their promises of providing high quality products and excellent customer services are rewarded with loyal customers and more business opportunities. Parents that keep their promises are well respected and loved by their children. Borrowers that keep their promise get rewarded with high FICO score and lower interest rate when they go to bank to apply for loans. Relationships where husbands and wives keep to their commitment last longer with both couples living together happily.
Our world today is filled with many broken promises. Politicians no longer care to honor their oath of office, they look after their own interest rather than those of the citizens. Marriages are crashing just as soon as they get started, forever ever after is becoming a tale in a world that is less caring about the affairs of others. Employees are no longer loyal to their employers, they jump from one company to another, because they do not feel that their employers care about their future in the company. Companies will lower quality and customer satisfaction just to make extra profits. Broken promises also imply lack of trust among people in our society. It is crucial to restore trust, integrity, and honor so that the interdependent relationship among people in the society can continue to thrive to the benefits of humans.
Change begins with you. Are you keeping all your promises and commitments? Are you a person of integrity? If not, here are some things you should know about keeping promises so that you can build your brand:
- Under promise, over deliver: Most people over promise and then under deliver. I believe it is better to under promise and over deliver, this is a better way to manage people’s expectations. Most of the time, in order to get what we want, we are tempted to oversell or exaggerate what we can do and we soon realize that we are not able to deliver on our promises when given the opportunity. Politicians will typically promise heaven on earth only to get to office and then realize that there are no enough resources to provide what they had promised. Job seekers will portray themselves as fountain of knowledge during interview and some will be a big disappointment to the employer after they hired the candidate. The right approach is to know your capacity, understand the requirement and make your promise based on the information.
- Step up and stretch: It is likely possible to find yourself in over your head. You told the interviewer you can do what you know that you have little knowledge about. You have promised your customer to deliver their products on a certain date, but your production line has been plagued by various quality issues. The electorates are waiting on the politician to deliver his momentous promises and nothing seems to be going in the right direction. It is time to step up and stretch. You should work harder, learn as fast as possible and grow beyond your previous limitations to match up your promises. That way, you will be able to restore trust and confidence in you.
- Fess up and take responsibility: You suddenly realized that you have over promised, the right thing to do is to own up and take responsibility. Go to that customer explain why he should expect delays. Go to your constituents and tell the reality of governing, show them that you are responsible, show them the progress that you are making, explain your challenges to them and let them know that you are ultimately responsible for delivering the promises.
Your reputation is your brand. It is your duty and mission to guard and protect it jealously. One awesome way of ensuring that you protect your reputation is by making sure you keep your promises both in your personal and professional life. To make sure that you have a stellar reputation and brand, you must be a trustworthy person with high integrity, a person whose promises is his/her bond.