There is something wonderful about having people in your life who are true to their word. There is something even more wonderful about BEING one of those people.
There is a classic tale about accountability that illustrates how easy it is for an effort to fail with seemingly no-one to blame. I embellished it a bit for my purposes.
There were once four brothers: Everyone, Someone, Anyone and No-one. They had a very important Something to do. Everyone was sure that Someone would do Something. Anyone could have done Something, but No-one did Anything in the end. Everyone was angry because it had been Someone’s job. Everyone thought that Anyone could have done Something, but No-one realized that No-one would do Anything.
Everyone was angry at Someone because No-one did Something Anyone could have done.
But even if Someone had done Something, it might not have been the Onething that really needed to happen.
Character-based communicators know that they are Everyone, Someone, Anyone and No-one until otherwise stated. Character-based Communicators also know that Something could mean Anything, until they turn a Something into an unmistakable Onething.
What does that mean!?!?!
It means Character-based Communicators hold themselves to a higher level of accountability than ego-based or personality-based communicators allow themselves.
It means Character-based Communicators don’t say “it wasn’t my job” when they see that No-one is making an important activity their job.
Character-based communicators don’t hide behind abstraction, confusion or lack of commitment. They take ownership of communication and demand clarity when clarity is not forthcoming. If there is Something that Someone should do, and Someone does not have a face or a name, Character-based Communicators take responsibility to get concrete very quickly.
Character-based Communicators say what they’ll do in concrete, measurable terms. They don’t hide behind abstractions or vague commitments that are impossible to get pinned down on.
Character-based Communicators don’t let others hide behind vague, abstract commitments that leave too much wiggle room for accountability. They elicit solid, concrete commitments and expect others to honor their words.
That’s why Character-based Communicators are powerful communicators. They protect the power of their words. If they’re not reasonably assured they can do what they say, they don’t say it. People know they mean what they do say.
How about you? Do you hide behind Someone and Something? Or do you step in when Someone needs to, and make sure that Someones have faces and Somethings have definition?
Be someone. Say very specific and significant Somethings that people can count on.