Stand Out As a True Professional

Rebecca Morgan quote
Photo: Rebecca Morgan, Vianden Castle, Luxembourg


What makes someone stand out as a true professional?

  • Is it their deep knowledge of their job?
  • Their pleasant attitude and cooperation?
  • Their willingness to tackle tough topics and projects?
  • The ability to creatively problem solve?

Yes. All of these.

Additionally, an area that gets little discussion in management and leadership literature is the high value of diligence at completing what you promise.

Perhaps this is thought to be a given.

Yet how often does a colleague or vendor promise they’ll get back to you and they don’t? Usually there’s nary a heads up that they will be late. They just ghost you and you’re left without the critical decision or information you need.

You don’t realize they’ve gone poof until you are under the gun to compete the project with the missing info. You are now stressed because they let you down.

This happens so much it’s barely acknowledged by the culprit. “Oops. It slipped my mind,” he says, without a word of apology or acknowledgment of how his lack of follow through has left you in the lurch.

“I thought I sent that to you,” is another oft-heard comment. i always wonder if she knows full well she didn’t and just doesn’t want to fess up.

How can you avoid being one of these flakes? It’s really not that hard. Yet I’m amazed how few people consistently abandon their commitments.

Diligently track your agreements.

When you agree to take on a task, write it down wherever you track your to-do’s. Make it easy on yourself by telling your device’s smart assistant (Siri or Google) to add the item to your calendar or to-do list. Note the due date/time so you don’t let it slip.

Keep your promises.

Honoring your promises shows you are trustworthy. That you value the relationship. You hold yourself to a standard of acting with integrity.

Finish on time.

Strive to complete the task not only on time, but ahead of when you promised, if possible. You wow people when you do this.

If you see you’ll not be able to complete the task within the time frame you promised, let the person know. Then she can make other arrangements to fill the gap you said you’ve now left gaping.

There’s a reason the phrase “Your word is your bond” has survived for centuries. When you consistently keep your word, you demonstrate your integrity. When you practice this kind of rigor and diligence to your agreements, people trust you. They want to work with you. You get raises, promotions and sales. Life is better.