By Kim Zoller
Just a few days ago, in sunny Palm Beach, Florida I was lucky enough (spur of the moment) to attend a luncheon where the daughter of the famous “Dear Abby” was the keynote speaker. Imagine losing your mother, the woman who’s advice column is syndicated internationally, amongst thousands of readers, and a mere five days later, you need to honor a business obligation to speak to a philanthropic group of 100 plus women raising awareness for “Kids Sanctuary” a most worthwhile cause.
Let’s face it, most would consider sending an apology note asking for understanding due to the circumstances, (death in the immediate family, always gets a pass) or sending another team member to give the keynote address, but “Dear Abby’s daughter not only honored her commitment; she lived up to her mother’s ideals and her speech turned out to be a heartfelt testimony and eulogy to her beloved mother, and all that she stood for; where decency, common courtesy and common sense ruled the day.
. This begs the question…do we honor our obligations? In the business setting, when you promise to get data to a colleague after a meeting, do you actually follow up on your promise, or your commitment? When a friend is recently diagnosed with cancer and you know of resources that would be of help to them, do you actually take the time to find the phone numbers, doctors names, support groups, etc.? You bet you do. Especially, if you want people to know that YOU SAY WHAT YOU MEAN and MEAN WHAT YOU SAY. These small steps amongst peers or family and friends are what make up your REPUTATION. A reputation is thank goodness, one of the last bastions of civilization that is earned and not bought. (Superstars of the moment do not count!) Imagine when the time comes for someone to write your eulogy. What legacy do want to leave behind?
The choice is yours, and how you conduct your business day-to-day is the reputation you leave behind. May I be so forward as to say that kindness, honesty, having a sense of humor, keeping an open mind, and keeping your promises are components that build sterling reputations. If you are of a mindset that is more egocentric, well let’s just say your farewell party may not be well attended!
Dear Abby raised a daughter to be proud of. One of life’s greatest achievements.