Several months ago I had a business meeting with a bright ambitious guy. The conversation was energetic and engaging.

Almost all of my meetings these days have one agenda. To open a conversation and explore mutual opportunities. The keys are “open” and “mutual”. The opportunities are not defined. They could be anything from finding a like minded soul, to being able to contribute to each others business, to learning, supporting, sharing…

Mutual means that both parties benefit in some way from the exchange.

Open means I show up open, neutral, available, accessible. Ideally it also means the other party is open as well, but there is not so much I can do about that except be open and engaging myself.

This young man wanted to introduce me to a bunch of people. He wrote names down in his phone. He volunteered to do this. I did not ask for this and I was very delighted by his generosity.

He said he would get back to me that evening.

I never heard from him again, despite emailing him several times.

I am guessing you might have had a similar experience?

The question is, have you been this person? Have you promised something, voluntarily, and then just not delivered?

WTF? Why promise? Why did he go to the extent of writing a list in his phone and then saying he would do it that night? Even if he couldn’t do it that night, why then not even have the decency to be honest with me and respond to my emails with the truth? Even if the truth for him was that he no longer felt aligned to do this. (The real truth is far more complex and clearly well beyond his own self awareness and courage.)

In my experience of this person he went from being a bright ambitious guy to an unreliable flake. When our paths cross again…and it is a small world, so they will…he will have a lot of ground to make up to get back to zero in my trust. And sure as the sun rises, I will not be endorsing him in any way until he proves he can be his word.

Our word and actions that back our word is our brand. Don’t open your mouth and say you will do something unless you will do something. And if you can’t do it, say you can’t. Enough with the BS. It’s that simple.





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