Dependability Is a Superpower

Photo: Rebecca Morgan with 5-year-old Luca in Kayseri, Turkey

  • My contractor said he was coming to fix my dishwasher Thursday afternoon. He never arrived. Nor did he call or text he wasn’t coming. So I waited.
  • The salesperson said she would call at 10 am. She didn’t. Nor did she email to alert me. So I waited.
  • The client asked me to hold a date for a speech to her team. He said he’d get back to me by Friday. He didn’t. I waited.

These are a few of the dozens of examples this year of people promising something then not following through.

Trying to give them some slack, I think, “They meant well.” But did they? Or did they just say what they thought was appropriate in the moment? If they truly meant well, they’d do what they said they would.

When someone actually delivers on their promises, they stand out. It shows me we have the same values of integrity, dependability, and follow through. People who demonstrate these values receive my admiration.

Are people who don’t demonstrate dependability flakes? Perhaps. Although they would never consider themselves so. When confronted, they will defensively sputter, “I’m just so busy.” As if I’m not. Or, “It slipped my mind.” You don’t write down your commitments? Or, “I’m at my kids’/boss’s/mate’s whim.” So you have no say in how your time is spent? These excuses seem rather lame.

Maybe they didn’t really want to do what was promised in the first place. They said they’d do it to be “nice.” I don’t think it’s nice to lie to someone, and/or keep them waiting. That’s downright rude.

Maybe they are concerned that if they say they can’t do something, it will seem confrontational. Do they think it won’t be even more confrontational when the person they’ve inconvenienced calls them on it? It will be more so.

If you make promises you don’t keep, examine why. No matter your reasoning, start being more dependable. When you strengthen your dependability, you will be amazed how much more respect you receive, from others as well as yourself.