Before you commit to a new project or obligation, be sure you can fulfill it. If you really aren't certain, then say so. It's better to simply disappoint someone now than show up empty-handed on the day of your big promise. If, despite your best effort, you think you'll miss a deadline or milestone, then contact the other person and explain what has happened. We've all been in similar situations and again: disappointment is a lot different than "I can' trust you."5 Ways To Become Reliable
1. Before you agree to a new obligation, check that you have enough time--then keep your promise.
2. Say "no" to demands that may stretch you past your capacity. This means being honest with yourself, about yourself, first.
3. Be honest and realistic about the scope of work and related deadlines.
4. Quickly alert people when you know there will be a delay.
Note: Thanks to a comment and reminder from "Lean" afficionado Jamie Flinchbaugh, this isn't a matter of "Oh, I'm going to be late." It may very well be the beginning of a renegotiation of the project. If the boss tells you "that's the date," you'll need to lay out everything else that's on your calendar and re-prioritize together. FYI: I have seen more than one boss say, "You committed to it, I announced it would be done, do it regardless of the other 'stuff'." Which underscores the point: Be thoughtful and careful about your commitments.
5. Meet deadlines and create trust.____________________________________
Speaking of reliablity: How about a reliable source for those of you who are thinking about a business start-up?
12. On the priority list for a startup, where does SALES rank? Number 30.
13. What one thing can you do to motivate yourself? Number 23.
Darned good deal from a guy who has started and sold a lifetime-worth of companies.