It doesn’t matter how smart you are or how much skill and talent you have if co-workers and business leaders cannot count on you to follow through.
Reliability trumps skill and talent every time (this is contingent on the individual having the appropriate skills and talent necessary to fulfill the job requirements).
A lack of follow through is the number one complaint leading to low trust in the workplace that undermines organizational performance.
The importance and power of reliability was reinforced during my recent vacation.
Visiting the most famous geyser in the world on my recent vacation to Yellowstone National Park, Old Faithful, offered a unique metaphor for workplace success.
Upon arriving at the site of Old Faithful minutes before its expected eruption more than a thousand people were sitting and standing awaiting the next performance.
A few feet behind the throngs was a sign indicating the anticipated scheduled eruption to be forthcoming within the next few minutes. All eyes and digital cameras were focused in the geyser’s direction.
Minutes later, within its expected timeframe, Old Faithful performed, to the delight of everyone in attendance.
Touring the rest of the Upper Geyser Basin where Old Faithful resides, we learned the area is flush with dozens of geysers, some providing even greater discharges.
Yet, those others received almost no attention, other than the general passers by touring the region.
The reason, I believe, is the fact that Old Faithful is consistent and unbelievably reliable. Visitors to the region know within a short range (plus/minus 10 minutes) when the next eruption is going to be. Park rangers at the Upper Geyser Basin update Old Faithful’s sign after each eruption.
The Beehive Geyser, on the other hand, resides just a hundred yards or so from Old Faithful often discharging higher into the air while spewing twice as long as Old Faithful, but it only erupts every eight to 24 hours.
On a tight vacation schedule who has time to wait around that long?
Likewise, in a busy workplace, who has time to wait around for someone else to follow through on a needed task?
If you want to be noticed and position yourself for the next level, raise your level of follow through.
Strive to be recognized as the Old Faithful of your organization.