I want to tell you a brief story about something super nice that someone said to me recently.

More than 18 years ago, Dan Sullivan, founder of Strategic Coach, told me about four “Referability” habits—behaviors that help you to be referable, as in a person who other people would recommend doing business, or anything else, with. The four are:

  • Show Up on Time
  • Do What You Say
  • Finish What You Start
  • Say Please and Thank You

I believe in these habits, and work hard at them at all times—not just because I want to be referable, but because I like to abide by the second and third of my Six Simple Rules for a Better Life, “Be Nice” and “Be a Leader”—these habits are most certainly elements of leadership and of being nice to others.

The recent experience I had relates to the second referability habit, doing what you say.

A business associate I have known for over a dozen years, a very nice man with whom I have maintained a warm, professional relationship and friendship, reached out to let me know that because his company had been purchased by another company, his position was being eliminated. He asked if we could get together for coffee to discuss and network.

We met a day or two later at a Starbucks in Manhattan and we brainstormed about places where I could be of help to him. When we parted, I told him what I was going to do (send his resume to a bunch of people I know, etc.) When I got back to my office, a note from him was waiting in my e-mail. The note contained this line: “Thanks again for your offer of help and I know if anyone will be true to the offer it is you.”

That was one of the nicest things anyone could say to me. I felt awesome reading that. To belabor the obvious, he was in essence saying, “Not everyone does what they say they are going to do. You always do. It’s been noticed, and it’s appreciated.”

Always keep your promises—do what you say you are going to do. It’s good for all of the relationships in your life, personal and professional.

What have your experiences been with doing what you say? Or other people doing what they say? Or not doing so? Join the conversation with your thoughts…

Best regards,