Today is the last business day of 2014's first quarter. Analysts and finance folks will be crunching numbers while employees (should) face quarterly performance reviews. It feels like yesterday that 2013 was wrapping up and people were resolving to be better in X, Y and Z. This got me thinking about goals set for/by us and promises made by us and to us.
promises and goals made by us
People are marked by their ambition and diligence in pursuing that ambition. Think about it. People cross your path and leave an impression of being hard working or lazy, aggressive or passive, this or that. This idea carries through both personal and professional areas. Either you make goals and promises or you don't. Those who don't are aimless, unfulfilled and often alone. People do not want to date an aimless person, while businesses don't want aimless people.
So, did you even make promises to anyone or goals to achieve something this year? Really think about why, regardless of your answer.
Have you been following through on those promises and goals? If you can check anything off your list yet, are you at least pursuing them?
"Hold yourself to a higher standard than you do for others."
That's a quote I honestly believe in and actively pursue. Am I fulfilling the goals I've set for the quarter and year? Yes. Absolutely. Am I following through on the promises I've made myself, and more importantly, to my friends, family and wife? I have not made it...yet. I have excuses, sure, but that's all they are. I am working on following through with those promises, regardless of how light-hearted they are, which accounts for nearly all of them.
promises and goals made for us and to us
If I promise you something, I will follow through on it. If you promise me something, I expect you to follow through on it. Fail to do so and I will lose respect for you — instantly. That may seem severe, but it's not going to change. I will give grace when it's needed, but the bar is set high.
I mention this to question the consequences of not following through on things promised you. Have your friends made promises to you? Has your boss or company made promises to you? Are they following through on those promises?
So far this year, people in both personal and professional situations have fallen flat in promises made to me. How did I respond? To err is human. They simply forgot in most cases. I gave grace. For the situations where they simply are not following through, for whatever reason, I simply reminded them.
What happens if they continue to fail in following through? For me — I get that I may be severe — I question that relationship. On a personal level: are we even friends? Does that person need me to be more proactive? Does it really matter? My friends are my friends for (a million) good reasons and I'll keep them, no matter if they keep promises to me.
Professional life is so very different. I'll generalize and say that businesses expect you to achieve your goals and fulfill your promises, and they will even go so far to decide your continued employment based on those ideas. Does your business fulfill the goals & promises they made to you? If No, then the results ought to be different than a personal situation. If you are constantly being lead on and let down, why stay committed to that business? Call it shortsighted if you want, but I would seriously question my continued employment at a place that dangles a carrot in front of you and then makes excuses for why you can't have it.
Don't let your employer hold you to higher standards than they hold themselves.
No matter the situation, be aware of the goals and promises being made by you and to you. Decide what, if any, consequences should result from things not being fulfilled. If something radical needs to happen, get radical.