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Promises you cannot keep

Have you ever been betrayed by those you trusted the most? Or have you ever gone out on a limb, or taken a major risk, only to find out that your business partner (or boss, spouse, or good friend) had not given it to you straight.  So often it seems, at the worst possible hour, the veil is suddenly lifted, and you realize you put your trust in false pretenses. What was spoken as truth, was a lie.

Do not make promises you cannot keep—in business, to your friends, to your family, and even to yourself.

Over the years, I’ve learned that words are not enough. We have to live our promises. As the old Greek poet Aeschylus puts it: “It is not the promise that makes us believe the person, but the person keeping the promise.” For example, I had a dad who I thought the world of and who constantly promised that we would go on a family vacation every year to see the entire United States by the time I was eighteen. I totally believed him. He was my dad!!!  He wanted to please me and did not feel like he was doing anything wrong with making promises he knew he could not keep, and did not keep. Once I had a step-son I loved very much.  I became a part of his nuclear family. Many years later, after having raised him through his teen years, I found out that most of his affection was a show to avoid conflict. He didn’t really mean any of it.

Lies can do more than harm our personal relationships. They can also rip apart our professional lives. I once had a business client who promised he would be straight with a reporter who was interviewing him for a big article in a huge newspaper, but throughout the interview he kept sprinkling his story with little “white lies.” With only a little digging, the reporter found out about it, and the story was never published.

In the long run, lies will only hurt us and hurt the people around us. Not keeping our word, our even just being a little dishonest, will do harm to our business relationships, our friendships, and our families. We must strive to be men and women of integrity. If we do not care about our dignity, our integrity, what else do we have?

Sherri Rosen & Tyler Blanski, Sherri Rosen Publicity, New York City




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This entry was posted on Saturday, December 3rd, 2011 at 10:38 am and is filed under Clients, Friends and Colleagues. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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