Alan Weiss’s Monday Morning Memo® – 4/30/18

“I’ll get back to you.” Have you ever heard that insidious phrase, or used it? It can make you splenetic. Imagine if this morning this space said, “No Monday Morning Memo as of yet, I’ll get back to you.” You might give me the benefit of the doubt, but what if I pulled that again next week? (A reader once told me he was astounded that my Monday Morning Memo reliably appeared every Monday morning! Imagine if you received it on Thursday!?)

Our governor called me a week or so ago and left a message to call her back. This isn’t unusual, she wants money for her upcoming campaign, calls major donors personally, and listens to what we feel her priorities should be (mine is support for small business). But when I promptly called her back, I received her voicemail and she never called again. What was a promising, reassuring habit turned into a black eye.

I tell people in my elite coaching program this: “Always obtain a time, date, and action. Never allow ‘I’ll get back to you’.” Commitment and accountability will gain us the benefit of the doubt on the rare occasions we louse up. But if you consistently don’t respond promptly, don’t meet your deadlines, fail to keep your promises—well, I’ll find someone else who can and does.

I think most of you would agree with this, but we cut people too much slack, thus enabling the poor behavior. If you don’t think that’s true, get back to me.

Commitment is an act, not a word. —Jean-Paul Sartre

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