Posted by Diana Martinelli on Mar 04, 2018


PRESIDING TODAY IS: Diana Martinelli, President

bellDing! We’re now in session.

Welcome all – visitors, fellow Rotarians and guests alike to this E-Club program!

Remember the Four-Way Test!

At the beginning of each meeting we remind ourselves of the The Four-Way Test.  Therefore, please remember to ask yourself always . . .

Of the things we think, say or do:

  1. Is it the TRUTH?
  2. Is it FAIR to all concerned?
  4. Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned?

Reflective Moments

“The woods are lovely, dark and deep. But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep.”
Robert Frost            
"Losers make promises they often break. Winners make commitments they always keep."
Denis Waitley

A Light Moment 

"When you live with someone, that's a commitment. You either have to work out all your problems, or you have to move out all your stuff. I've got a lot of stuff...." 
Mike Lucas
Our E-Club Meeting:

The Power of Promises ("Because I said I would")

There are few things that disappoint me more than someone who commits to do something and doesn’t follow through. Regardless of the relationship, be it personal or professional, when someone goes back on their word, it hurts, creating dissonance and psychological distance. And the closer I am to the person, the more troubling the situation.
The same holds true for me:  I am rarely more disappointed in myself than when I fail to follow through—not doing what I said I would do when I said I would do it.
Of course, I am old enough to know that “life happens.” That we may have the best intentions to do something, and that a desire to please or idealistic expectations may lead us to agree to actions and deadlines that are unrealistic. Yet, even in such cases, the disappointment and disillusionment from broken promises can linger….
As business professionals, leaders, mentors, and Rotarians, our actions truly do speak louder—and are heard more powerfully—than words. When we fail to follow through, the trust others have in us erodes. Trust and reputations take a long time to foster and build, but can be quickly compromised. Therefore, to “walk the talk,” it behooves us to not make promises too quickly or for the wrong reasons, but to be thoughtful and earnest, honest and forthcoming.
What exactly does this mean?
First, it means being honest with yourself. Is your commitment sincere? Is it realistic?
I once had a boss who said we should always “under-promise and over-deliver.” She didn’t mean we should not do our best; rather, she meant we should not be overly idealistic regarding what we can do, thereby setting ourselves up for failure, and our clients and colleagues, for disappointment. Instead, we should promise what we KNOW we can deliver, and then do our best to give them even more value than was expected.
Second, it means being forthcoming. If at any point the commitment is in danger of being compromised, it is important to communicate that as soon as possible.
One of the common mistakes I see young people make is to wait until after something is due or the deadline has passed to discuss their hurdles in completing a project or task. Taking initiative to proactively bring up questions or problems (along with potential solutions, if possible!) will serve to deepen trust with those who are depending on you.
Third, it means taking responsibility. If the commitment is missed, a litany of excuses rings hollow. Yes, sometimes the unexpected happens. (I’ve always loved the quote “If you want God to laugh, tell Him your plans.”) But a simple, sincere apology and acknowledgement that you let the person down is often more appreciated and respected than positing blame on others or circumstances.
Taking responsibility also means being serious in how you approach and speak of commitments. I learned long ago that the words of Yoda in Star Wars were sage: “Try not! Do or do not; there is no try!” I realized that if the words “I’ll try …” came out of my mouth, the action was rarely achieved. Instead, using the words “I will …” are far more motivating and powerful, and leave little hedge room. 
When you think about it, trust is really all we have in a functioning society: Trust that the food, products and services we buy will be safe and what they claim to be; trust that our civil servants are fair and conscientious; trust that our neighbors will help shield us from harm, if needed. When such trust is violated, as in the Volkswagon emissions scandal, police brutality incidents, or unheeded distress calls, the resultant distress runs deep. But even when the breach is less serious, trust is still eroded, and thus credibility and relationships are compromised.
We need to protect and honor our commitments and promises, as Rotary has honored its commitment to fight polio and to promote peace. In short, I have trust that my fellow Rotarians will continue to better the world because they said they would.
I encourage you to listen (through the link below) to the powerful story of a young man and his tribute to his father—a man who always kept his word, and the impact this consistency of character had on his son. I hope it will inspire you, as it has so many others, to follow through on your commitments to colleagues, family, friends, neighbors, Rotarians … and yourself.
Thank you for participating in this week's meeting! And please don't forget to leave a comment!

If you are a visitor and would like to contribute the normal cost of a meal for your makeup, we would be grateful. These funds go directly to our service projects. You can make a contribution through the Give/Donate link on the homepage. Or you may write a check to:  Rotary E-Club of District 7530 and mail it to Treasurer MSRE, 213 Crosswinds Dr., Fairmont, WV 26554.