A little over a month ago I made a promise. Commenting on one of my posts, a friend and former co-worker, Rick Neisser, asked if I had ever come up with a "worthy" report template. I gave a couple of quick comments, but realized there was a lot more to be said, so I promised to further pontificate on the subject the next Monday.
"Next Monday" came and went and I posted...nothing. The next Monday arrived and I posted something entirely different. And Monday followed Monday.
As one more Monday appears on the horizon, I make a promise...I will get it done.
But why should anyone believe that promise any more than the one I made previously. Like so many audit reports and audit deadlines and corrective actions and other ramifications, justifications, abdications, coordinations, communications, and alienations from the past, I have come up short on the original contract.
How many promises have you broken?
Oh, I don't mean wedding vows and such. Those are easy. Seriously, significant commitments are easy to keep compared to the off-the-cuff, over-the-shoulder, throw-it-out-there, no-one-is-really-paying-attention kind of promises we make and forget every day.
I'll give you a call. I'll meet with them. I'll work on that right away. I'll get right on that email. I'll finish that report by the 3rd. I'll complete that testing by the end of the month.
Internal auditors are nothing but their word. And the casual dismissal of seemingly minor obligations slowly but inexorably undermines that trust.
So, think about that the next time you make, or the next time you think about breaking, a "casual" promise.
And, Rick, honest, I will have your post next Monday.