Over the years I have had many people ask me for tips on how to be successful and how to be a great leader. I am always humbled by these types of requests since I have always felt that my accomplishments are not as much about me, but about the team that I have around me. I have been blessed with the opportunity to work for great mentors and had the support of some amazing team members. However, I can say that there has always been one common thread to the way I was taught and the approach I have always implemented. If I had to condense it all down to one word, it would be easy, SINCERITY!
Maybe it was the way I was brought up by my parents, but I have always believed that actions speak louder than words. I have never been one to brag about my accomplishments, nor to spew out a bunch of ideas without some serious preparation and thought. I can remember from a very young age always being told, “Do what you say you are going to do!” So before I make a promise or a statement of what I will do, I make sure that I understand the situation and that I can deliver on any promises I make.
Do what you say you will do! In today’s world of over promising and under delivering, these words have never rung more true. People’s appetites are much larger than their stomachs and they tend to take on more than they can handle. This puts them in a position of not being able to deliver on their promises. Maybe, it is because of how tight the economy has been and no one wants to lose any business, maybe it’s easier to make promises just to get a signature on the dotted line. Regardless, when you tell someone that you will do something, they are depending on you to come through. In fact, they have more than likely made successive plans based on your promise. This translates to your internal team too. If you tell one of your team members that you will do something, they need to know that you will get it done. Otherwise not only have you put doubt in their minds, you have compromised your integrity.
I am a firm believer in building long-term, meaningful relationships with my customers and my team members. However, if they cannot count on me to do what I say, then their trust in me will be broken. The fact is that you cannot build a relationship without trust. Not personal, not with your team, and definitely not in the business world.
It never ceases to amaze me how many times I see hypocritical behavior in people. A parent will tell a child that it isn’t okay to lie, but then in front of the child will be dishonest during a negotiation. What do you think the child will learn from that? More than likely they will learn that their parents are inconsistent and they will lose trust in the strength of their teachings.
I also have had people talk my ear off about how honest they are, but then they will cheat when we are playing golf. If you will cheat during a friendly game of golf with your friends, colleagues, or business partners, what will you do when money is involved? Don’t kid yourself. You are always being judged by others based on your actions and eventually your true character will shine through.
Anyone can say the right thing. However, you are judged by what you do, not what you say you will do. You need to make it a point to be honest and sincere with your team and your customers. But it doesn’t stop there. You need to be sincere with everyone you come into contact with. You never know whom you are talking to or where you next big opportunity may come from, so acting professional is important, but being sincere is the key. If you are sincere and put yourself in other people’s shoes and stop the judging, you will be opened up to a whole new world of kindness. Your relationships will become much deeper and your life will become much richer. I make it a point to try and help anyone I can with all the knowledge and experience I have at my disposal. I always make it a point to try and pay it forward. For if someone wasn’t willing to do that for me, I would never have achieved what I have in my life.
So the point I want to make in this article is, stop pretending and acting the way you think people want you to act. Be open, honest, and sincere, and you will gain more valuable relationships as you continue through your life’s path. And if you are really lucky you may change someone else’s life for the better. All by doing what you say you will do!