Trust is a big word. Trust is the feeling you get that someone or something will actually perform what you expect it to. Reliability produces trust. One speaker said the formula for Trust was:
T = ME/Time Where T = Trust and ME = Met Expectations
So, Trust equals Met Expectations over Time. Every time we meet someone’s expectations their trust in us goes up. Every time we fail to meet their expectations their trust in us goes down.
If reliability produces trust and reliability is actually meeting people’s expectations, it becomes very important to make sure that we: 1.) Do not promise what we cannot keep, and 2.) Do everything we can to fulfill what we promise.
As long as we allow other circumstances, other people, other situations to get in the way of us keeping our word, we will lose trust and be considered “un-reliable”. Showing up late for work and blaming the alarm clock, daylight savings time, the power company or any other possible circumstance just kills our reliability.
“Half of life is just showing up on time” is another saying I like. As a young man, you need to realize that showing up when you promise is half your battle. You can stand out from the crowd just by being on time.
I once managed 12 crews that had to get out on the road in the morning. It was almost impossible to get everyone out because there were always stragglers, people coming in 5, 10, 15, 30 minutes late. Everyone had a “perfect” excuse, alarm, car, friend….. just impossible to get in on time. I tried a creative solution: I offered a $5.00 cash bonus for arriving before 6:30am. Anyone that actually arrived at my desk before 6:30am (according to my clock) would receive the $5.00 in cash. The first day of this program, everyone except one person showed up on time. The cars came racing into the parking lot, some of the guys came running in, not even closing their car doors in a rush to make it for the cash!
This proved, beyond a doubt, that the real reason people were late was because they did not think it was important enough to make the effort; it was less work to come up with an excuse than it was to actually get up and make it in on time.
I have had other employees that always show up 5 minutes late. You can set your clock to it. Now, why do you think they can be so “reliably” late? I have asked them and you get all the regular excuses. The bottom line is that they do not see reliability as something valuable. They have chosen to give themselves the title of “un-reliable”.
When it comes time to promote someone to management, do you think that I would promote someone that is un-reliable or would I want to promote someone that has shown themselves to be reliable, without excuses?
If you are reliable, you don’t have to think up stories, excuses, or reasons….. you just show up a little early every time. Then, your boss, spouse, parents, co-workers just accept that you are reliable, that you have gained trust. Greater responsibility follows and before you know it, you are in charge, making more money and doing things that you like.
So, here is your challenge: be reliable, deliver everything you promise, make sure that people can trust you, and then just watch the opportunities open up for you.
By Dave Tucker
Dave Tucker is a businessman who tries to do as little as possible. Having been a Missionary Kid in Mexico, then a missionary and now a businessman, he used Proverbs to figure out how to do business and now owns 3 companies that write software, maintain landscaping and invest in real estate. He and his wife, Karin, are on the board of El Hogar Educador, a Home School support organization for Latin America. They travel to Mexico and do conferences as well as speak at various organizations, including Christian Business associations. Dave loves mentoring and helping young men that are serious about maturing and becoming responsible adults. You can reach him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
“I’m Late,” © 1974 Jack Keene, used under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/.