In praise of agreements

Why is it such a pleasure to work with people who reliable adhere to the agreements they make?  

I think the reason is that consistently doing what you say you will be doing is rare.

There are five reasons why this is so uncommon.

  1. Many agreements are unclear or aren’t time specific. It takes courage and effort to push back to get clarity before committing to a deadline.
  2. Our eyes are bigger than our stomach: Since we often do not have a complete overview of all our commitments, it’s hard to say no to a new commitment which crosses our path.
  3. A deep fear of failure. What if I say yes, but I can’t deliver?
  4. A cultural environment where accountability and commitment standards are low.
  5. A simple lack of awareness of the difference between agreements and expectations.

We can control each of these reasons.

This means that you don’t need additional deep expertise, building broader networks, or doubling your productivity to improve performance: Becoming a role-model for accountability is in fact one of the easiest ways to stand apart like a tall giraffe surrounded by tiny field mice. 

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