Dependability

I write this blog wearing several hats; employer, professor, and fellow human being.  On all three fronts I see capable, intelligent, and talented people who are not moving ahead in their careers and relationships.  They ask why and often don’t seem to get it, but the answer is almost always the same; they aren’t dependable.

At the workplace dependability is a much underrated asset.  Dependable people show up for work on time; not just 98% of the time but ALL of the time.  They do this not just month in and month out, but year in and year out.  If they call in for a “sick day” you can bet the farm that they are flat on their backs in bed.  When agreeing to perform a task at work, they get it done on time with no excuses.  Their word is their “brand” and they remain consistent with whom and what they are.  You can be the smartest, fastest, most productive worker in the company but it means NOTHING if you’re not dependable.

In the home dependability is often overlooked but is even more important than it is in the workplace.  The pledge to be home for supper on time; the promise to fix the sink on Saturday; remembering that you and your wife are going out to a movie on Tuesday night, picking up the boys from baseball practice; these are just a few examples of why dependability is important.  When dependability breaks down in the home, the trust between spouses and the authority that parents have over their children deteriorates.  Lack of dependability is the seed of family disruption and chaos.

Even among friends and acquaintances dependability is important.  The patron plans his day around that 9am barber appointment.  The passenger must make certain that his carpooling partner shows up on time.  The person who leaves on a vacation trusts that his neighbor will check his mail and newspaper every day, not just some of the days.

Those who get things done in this world require the talents and ability of good people to help them achieve their goals.  When goals are achieved everyone wins and wins big.  However, when someone is counted upon and fails to “show up” (either literally or figuratively) that person is dropped from the list of dependable people, perhaps never again to have another chance.

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