Home  › Marketing › Strategies

Are You Losing Credibility With Yourself?

  |  February 2, 2012   |  Comments

This year make a plan to honor your commitments so you don't disappoint others and ultimately yourself.

"Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans." - Peter F. Drucker, American educator and writer

A few years ago, I made a pact and it was as follows: to honor the commitments that I make. I had reached a point where my word began to mean very little. I would make plans with friends and the day of would cancel; I would commit to a deadline and that deadline would pass without the deliverable; I would commit to going to the gym three days a week and then let my gym membership lapse. Even though I knew I was disappointing others and losing my credibility, the biggest disappointment was with myself. As we move into February, the month where most of our New Year's resolutions begin to fade, let's reflect on commitments and why they are a critical part of your personal and professional life.

Let's start with why most commitments get broken. The major reason is because they should never have been made in the first place. We make commitments for many reasons: a) we don't want to disappoint someone or be impolite; b) we think they'll forget; c) we were taught that saying "no" is bad; d) it felt like a good idea at the time. It's also rather easy to get out of a commitment, particularly in the age of texting and email. You agree to something in person and then later cancel via a text. Voila! Typically, most people are rather understanding because they probably chronically cancel plans or deadlines as well (in fact, they were going to cancel on you before you canceled on them!). So, there's this universal pact that we can agree to something but, most likely, we're going to need to cancel when it comes down to it.

I want to be clear that I'm not talking about the occasional cancellation that has to happen; I'm talking about consistent and regular canceling. I'm talking about those plans that the moment you commit to them, you're already planning your out. I'm mostly talking about those commitments that you make to yourself that you never plan to act on. The ones that make you lose credibility with…yourself.

Where do we go from here? My first recommendation is to commit to what you wholeheartedly believe you can deliver on. If it's work-related, realistically consider the circumstances of what is being asked of you. I'm always amazed by people who take jobs with long commutes and then complain about the commute. Of course, when you accepted the job and made a commitment to that employer to be there at a regular time each day, you were aware of the commute. Be mindful of what you're agreeing to and go into it with all intentions of honoring that agreement. There is no quicker way to make an employer lose confidence in you than not honoring even the smallest of commitments like showing up to work on time on a regular basis.

Secondly, if you've made a commitment or deadline and you realize that it's not going to work, then address it is as soon as possible, personally, and offer an alternative, if appropriate. What you want to avoid is a situation where there is no acknowledgement of your responsibility. I'm sure you've been on the receiving end of those situations. Someone told you they would get back to you by Wednesday and now it's Friday and you haven't heard back. You want to be someone people can count on.

Thirdly, expect others to honor the commitments they make to you. Create an environment of accountability with others. If you're behaving differently and being responsible, then expect others to have the same regard for their word with you. It'll set the circumstances by which you can operate and plan as well.

And finally, creating and honoring commitments is a part of living in integrity and building character. As I mentioned earlier, the first person you hurt when you stray from this is yourself. You begin to lose credibility in your own word and, that, more than anything, will affect not only your career, but your personal life as well.

Tags:

ClickZ Live San Francisco Revolutionize your digital marketing campaigns at ClickZ Live San Francisco! (August 10-12) Educating marketers for over 15 years, we return to San Francisco this August with our action-packed, educationally-focused agenda that will cover every aspect of digital marketing. Early Bird rates available through Friday, July 17 - save up to $300! Register today.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Papadopoulos

Based in New York, Anna Papadopoulos has held several digital media positions and has worked across many sectors including automotive, financial, pharmaceutical, and CPG.

An advocate for creative media thinking and an early digital pioneer, Anna has been a part of several industry firsts, including the first fully integrated campaign and podcast for Volvo and has been a ClickZ contributor since 2005. She began her career as a media negotiator for TBS Media Management, where she bought for media clients such as CVS and RadioShack. Anna earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from St. John's University in New York.

Follow her on Twitter @annapapadopoulo and on LinkedIn.

Anna's ideas and columns represent only her own opinion and not her company's.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

US Consumer Device Preference Report

US Consumer Device Preference Report
Traditionally desktops have shown to convert better than mobile devices however, 2015 might be a tipping point for mobile conversions! Download this report to find why mobile users are more important then ever.

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle

E-Commerce Customer Lifecycle
Have you ever wondered what factors influence online spending or why shoppers abandon their cart? This data-rich infogram offers actionable insight into creating a more seamless online shopping experience across the multiple devices consumers are using.

WEBINARS

Jobs

  • Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC
    Sr. Marketing Specialist, PPC (Charter Communications) - StamfordSr. Marketing Specialist, PPC– Digital Marketing Charter Communications...
  • Online Marketing Analyst
    Online Marketing Analyst (FULLBEAUTY Brands ) - New YorkINTRODUCTION: Are you interested in a unique career opportunity where you can represent...
  • Copy Editor
    Copy Editor (ClickZ / Search Engine Watch) - New YorkROLE OVERVIEW The role of the copy editor for ClickZ has many demands. Ultimately, the copy...