Can people set their clock by what you say?

 In Entrepreneur, Journalist, Learning from Luminaries, Media, Mindset, News, The Winning Voice, What not to do

‘Think for a moment about all the colleagues in your immediate circle, whether they are your peers or people you manage.

Which of them can be trusted to follow through when they say they are going to do something? And which ones make you think, “Hmm, that’s probably not going to happen. I’ll have to follow up”?

This quote is from a strategy + business ‘How good is your say-to-do ratio?’ article by Adam Bryant.

For 20 plus years when someone comes to me with an idea for a business venture, or I consider hiring someone to do work for me, in our first meeting I tell them that the following three behaviours are vital to us working together:

  1. Show up on time.
  2. Do what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’ll do it.
  3. Finish what you start. **

From experience, I expect 75% plus of people who say they’ll do those three behaviours – to not, do them.

Here are other vignettes from the article . . . 

“It comes down to trust,” Durand said. “If you look at the essence of trust, it’s a one-to-one ratio between say and do. If over some period of time, I observe a good ratio of someone doing what they say they will do, they will earn my trust.”

He added: “There are some people who are

so reliable that I could set my clock by what they say.

And then magic happens, because I will give them full autonomy—‘I trust you, make the decision, and go.’”

“That’s one reason I like to say that the three most beautiful words in the English language a manager can hear are “I’m on it.” Employees who say it—and mean it—share the important quality of owning the responsibility for following through. They get things done. And they are gold if you can get them on your team.”

** (To be clear I don’t always do the three behaviours. Over the last 10 years, I’m probably at around 90% completion).

Own the Conversation

Here’s my suggested action for you:

Over the next seven days:

  1. Write down five commitments (or even three commitments) you’ve given to people.
  2. On the day seven, score yourself on your completion of those commitments.
  3. In the following seven days repeat step#1, aiming to improve your say-to-do ratio.
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