We don’t stop to think about it much – but it is incredibly refreshing when people actually do what they said they would do.
And I’m not even talking about big projects and cumbersome plans. That’s a completely separate issue.
Rather, I’m talking about returning phone calls on time. I’m talking about showing up at 7 a.m. on Saturday when you volunteered to clean up a park. I’m talking about doing your part of that group assignment by deadline.
It’s tiny promises that we make to ourselves and to others. They’re just so damn easy to break – so easy that it becomes habitual.
And through the simplicity of being late, being slow and being forgetful is born a whole category of amazing people and organizations who reject these notions, who consistently fight the good fight on behalf of their commitment to follow through.
Toyota built a brand on reliability. People buy Toyota’s not because they look particularly attractive and not because they’re fast or fun to drive – they buy Toyota’s because when you turn the key, they start.
Domino’s gives you 30 minutes. Legally they can’t guarantee this – but they’ve returned their brand to the promise of a delivered pizza as fast as they can.
In baseball, “gamer” is a term for a player who rarely misses a game and performs reliably. It’s considered one of the highest forms of praise associated with sport.
It takes a long, long time and a lot of kept promises to be considered reliable. It’s a constant struggle, but the best organizations, the best employees and the best friends are the gamers.