Saturday, 4 January 2014

What Is A Promise Worth?

Prom.ise (noun): a declaration or assurance that one will do a particular thing or that a particular thing will happen.


You are asked to do something. The person making the request is inconsequential to this story. Without duly considering the time, physical and economic resources required to fulfill that request, you say you will do it.

You are a consultant with a desperate need for cash flow. You draft terms of an agreement between you and a potential client and hold your breath while they tell you the perfunctory ‘We’ll get back to you.’ You pray fervently. It works. They get back to you. Great news! You’re elated; but… You forget or pray your client doesn’t remember – that your agreement is littered with promises you do not have the manpower, money or skill to deliver.

You are an employer. You want the best hands running your company. Your employment contract make the average homo sapien drool with saliva. You know though, that you’ll do whatever it takes to get that brilliant ICT guru to move from there (Wherever that is) to your company. So you give him the contract. He signs. It’s a deal. He was unhappy anyway. He burns the bridge he just crossed and whistles a tune on his way to Eldorado. He doesn’t know what he’s signed up for. You know that. You know too, that by the time he’s frustrated enough to consider jumping ship, you would have found another gullible fellow. Brilliant business model, or so you think…

All would have ended well if you followed the script. It doesn’t however because you want to but can’t or have no intention of fulfilling your side of the bargain. Within a short while, you leave nothing but disappointment, anger and heartache in your wake.

Technology has shrunk the universe and doubled the chances of unrelated paths crossing. These paths cross, impressions are made and perceptions created. People talk. Word gets around and the one who ends up suffering most is you; with your own hands, you dry up the well from which you feed.

If out of your desire to help you keep making unrealistic demands on yourself and your time, stop. Stop now. Are you familiar with the word ‘NO’? That word saves lives. Use it when you know deep down you cannot possibly deliver what is asked of you.

If however you promise knowing you will not honor your word, then you’re like a sociopath, irredeemable except for divine intervention and nothing I say will make you see the end on the path you have chosen. Live your life knowing that ‘As long as the earth endures, seed time and harvest time shall never seize.’ It will all come full circle, it always does. Karma like they say, is a bitch, she will get her pound of flesh, and then some.

As long as it depends on you, do what you say you will do. 
Don’t make promises you have no intention of keeping. 
If the promise was to make you look good, you’ll look bad anyway. 
Treat your fellow with the same measure of respect, dignity and trust you expect. 
Do not transfer aggression; don’t be like the jilted lover who swears all men must suffer.

Irrespective of how business is done out there or how many times your fingers have been burned, hold yourself to higher standards. Don’t stoop low, up the ante. This is the kind of thing you can afford to get twisted…

©Naomi Lucas


adetunji solomon said...

The art of deception is at the background or the foundation of failed promises and unfulfilled agreements. As Bob Nesta Marley sings: ''You can fool people some of the time; You can't fool people all of the time''. Failed promise creates negative image. It blocks future prospects! #Lobatan#!

Naomi Lucas said...