“YOUR WORD IS YOUR BOND”
WHY LEADERS NEED TO KEEP THEIR WORD
By firstname.lastname@example.org on Feb 10, 2014 05:54 am
When I was growing up and hanging out with my father, a promise and
a hand-shake was all he needed. Contracts were largely foreign and unnecessary
for my dad. In fact, to insist on one would have been an insult to him. Why?
Because my dad’s word was his bond. He treasured it. It was of high value to him.
He was not willing to risk his community influence or relational equity by
breaking his word. If there was a picture that could be displayed of someone
who valued keeping their word – it would be a picture of my dad!
Simply put, to this very day his word is sacred to him. I don’t think it is
claiming too much to say that this quality is the foundation of our
society generations ago. Without keeping our word, our society begins
to fall apart.
My, how times have changed. In the not to distant past, I have experienced
two people blatantly dishonoring their own word. Both are leaders in the
community where I live. Sadly, both have lost respect they have enjoyed
among their peers and with those they are leading and influencing.
It’s tragic – especially for them.
Keeping your word is the essence of integrity. The word Integrity comes
from the root word integrated. When our private lives and our public lives
are one and the same (integrated) – we have integrity!
As Stephen Covey points out, “Honesty is making your words conform to reality.
Integrity is making reality conform to your words.” It is essential to leadership.
Without it, you cannot be an effective leader at home, in your personal life, or
professional life. It is vital!
1) Integrity is required for trust: If people can’t trust your word,
they won’t trust you.
2) Trust is necessary for influence: People choose those they
let influence them, and this is based largely on trust.
3) Influence is essential for impact: You won’t make the impact you want to
make, unless you can influence others and shift their behavior.
As a leader, keeping your word is sometimes difficult, expensive, and
inconvenient. But the cost of not doing so is much more expensive. The truth is,
it will ultimately cost you your leadership and influence with those you are leading.
I encourage you, as a leader value keeping your word. If you do, your influence
and impact on those your are leading will out live you.
As my father always told me – “Your word is your bond, so choose wisely, son”!