It's startling to read that, isn't it?
I heard this Fortune 100 General Counsel of European operations speak several years ago on a panel about client service and client relationship management. I wrote about it before in this blog, and I've mentioned it many times in speeches. I'll never forget the eerie power of it.
Today's Above the Law blog posted an article by Mark Herrmann, Chief Counsel – Litigation and Global Chief Compliance Officer for Aon (and former 20-year partner at Jones Day), called "I'll get this to you on Friday." It's about making client management and relationship promises you can't (or won't or don't) keep.
I sadly admit that I know I've done this. Seldom, but I know it's happened, and I am embarrassed and horrified by the breach of trust that it surely is. To anyone who has been on the receiving end of a missed deadline from me, I am sorry, and I promise – from now on - I will communicate exactly what's going on.
In my blog post about my experience at Davio's in Philadelphia, I define what "little acts of murder" are:
Unmet expectations, missed deadlines, unreturned phone calls, and otherwise a series of relationship disappointments.
Good people believe they are protected by the goodness of their intentions. But we aren't, really. I think rationalizing about how we badly behave in any relationship is lazy – it's a breach. Let's call it what it is.
Herrmann concludes, "You can either constantly prove that you’re trustworthy or you can have the world conclude that you’re not. Which is better, I ask you? And, given how obvious this is, why did I even have to type these words?"