Thoughts on Leadership is the brain child of Paul Bridle. This is the place that Paul shares his monthly thoughts.

Promise to Yourself

Posted: June 1st, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Business, Culture, Leadership, Management, Social | No Comments »

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As most of you know, I was born in Africa and I was brought up, really I suppose what’s now viewed as an old fashioned way.  I was taught that when you gave your promise to somebody that was binding.  It was like it was written in blood.  In fact, I remember this as a child in school amongst us, just as kids, somebody would say, “Promise?”  Okay, came things like “cross your heart and hope to die” that sort of thing but once you said, “Yes, i made a promise” then people would believe you and this was the issue, the moment you broke that promise, you got a reputation around the school as somebody who breaks their promises.  Whether it be being there for somebody, whether it was doing something that you promised to do whatever it is — from that moment if you broke your promise you had a reputation of being unreliable.  In other words, it affected your whole being.

So I got to thinking about this this month.  I wanted to talk about a promise because somebody said something very interesting to me the other day and this is what got me thinking.  If you can’t keep a promise to yourself then how good are you going to be in making a promise to others?  You see, if you make and can’t keep a promise to yourself then when it comes to making promises to others it’s easy to break.

What I am talking about is your integrity about the relationship that you have with people.  If I came to talk to some of your people, would they say, “Yes”?  If that person says something, they’re a person of their word.  Are they the type of individual who would say, “Yep”?  If he says this or if she says that, you can take it to the bank?

So, start internally thinking about who are you?  Who am I?  Am I somebody who keeps my promises? Or am I somebody who says a promise to myself but then when it gets down the road I break it saying, “Oh, wow, maybe just today.”  The moment you allow yourself to break promises to yourself, then the danger is that you would do it to others as well.  And you’ll justify it because you’ve learned to justify yourself.

So, the questions that I am asking you this month are;

  • How good are you at keeping your own promises?
  • How good are you at keeping the promises you make to yourself and building the groundwork to be able to keep your promises with other people?

It starts from within folks.  So, this month I want you to catch yourself out, just try it yourself.  When you say that you’re going to do something and you promised to do it. Are you somebody who follows through or are you somebody who finds a reason not to?  When you commit to doing something, are you somebody who follows through and does it at all costs or do you back away from it?  Because I guarantee you, if you’re getting it wrong here, you’re probably being ineffective out there.

So, this may be a bit deep this month but I hope it’s given you something to really start checking, “Who am I?”  “How real am I being with myself?” as foundation towards being with others.  Have a great month, see you again next month!  Bye for now!

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