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Thursday, September 10, 2009


Many years ago, a fellow employee gave me a desk sign made by a local West Michigan company. The sign read, “DWYSYWD”. As a young professional, I was eager to learn and I expected the details about the sign to be full of profound business insight. As my colleague explained, the acronym on the sign stood for “Do What You Said You Would Do”. My first thought was that this was no exceptionally inspiring saying on a sign… just a trinket to have on a desk.

However, through my work and life experiences, I have learned that the acronym and all it stands for is one of the most powerful truths an individual can grasp. Professionally, it is important to follow through with what you say – whether you are a salesperson speaking with a customer or a co-worker collaborating with others. If the people you work with and for every day know that your “yes” means yes and your “no” means no, you will gain respect and reap the rewards of integrity.

It is easy to say and it looks good on a sign, but when the rubber-meets-the-road, is it really worth it to stick to that truth…to do what you said you would do? If it means losing the sale, the order, the contract, the promotion? I have had many experiences in my career where I was faced with the dilemma…do I say what they want to hear or do I tell them what is accurate and factual? Time and time again, it was obvious that taking the high-road was more difficult in the beginning but the end result far outweighed the value of a single, momentary “success”.

I kept that sign and still have it today, sitting in my office and reminding me every day.

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