A business that delivers reliable results is a sum of reliable teams, and reliable teams are the sum of reliable individuals. So, building reliable business results really starts with a leader coaching each team member to deliver reliable individual results. Leadership is an inside job. It starts inside with your personal leadership, traits like integrity, trust, competence, authenticity, all of which are aspects of personal reliability.
In fact, our company logo is a group of three stacked L's representing the three level of leadership: personal, team and organizational. You cannot expect your team to be reliable (or any other trait for that matter) if you are not being reliable. Since reliability, like leadership, is built from the inside out, the most important question a leader should ask is, "How reliable am I?"
Reliability is like rain - everyone knows they need it, but no one wants to get wet. It's easy to talk about how "they" need to be more reliable, but it can be uncomfortable when we look in the mirror. When was the last time you heard someone say, "I really need to be more reliable?"
We want to collect reliable people in our lives and on our teams. We do not want to deal with those who are unreliable. Reliable people get and keep friends easier, forge deeper relationships, receive the best opportunities, are granted more autonomy at work, have more self-confidence, live with integrity and carry a clear conscience.
Reliable people have a high say/do ratio. That's the ratio of things you say to the things you follow through on and do. In a perfect world, your say/do ratio is 1:1 meaning you have done everything that you said you would do.
The reliable person has a rhythm of say, do, say, do, say do. It is the quickest way to build credibility and trust with others. Keeping your word or simply doing the right thing is rarely convenient, but reliable people let their actions rise above their excuses.
Being reliable does not mean saying yes to everyone. On the contrary, reliable people use discretion when they make commitments because they consider their commitments as personal promises to others.
However, most people tend to slip on their commitments because they overestimate their available free time, want to please others, have unclear priorities and lack guiding principles for when to say yes or no to requests.
So watch what you say, then say what you do.