Who’s On Your Short List?
American industrialist and businessman, J. Paul Getty, wrote in his book, “How to Be Rich,” that:
“…it has always been my contention that an individual who can be relied upon to be himself and to be honest unto himself can be relied upon in every other way.”
As one of America’s most successful entrepreneurs, Getty’s soundbites about living richly are definitely something to take to heart.
In the full year I’ve been outside the comforts of university life, I’ve learned more about the importance of reliability than I ever thought I would. At first, I learned how to rely on myself and my own skills when I moved a few hundred miles away from my family. Then, I learned to rely on those around me, which helped me create a new support system. Now, I work each and every day to be someone that others can rely on.
It is my hope that I’m on many “short lists.” Meaning, if a friend, family member, or co-worker had something important they needed help with, that I would be on their short list of people to call.
For example, I received a phone call from a college friend that I haven’t seen since graduation. She was in the Indianapolis area and wanted to know if she could potentially stay with me in case she was too tired to make the long drive home after a few meetings. I was humbled that she thought of me – during my undergraduate years, I tried my very best to make sure that those around me knew that I could be someone who they could depend on.
Sometimes though, I drop the ball – I’m only human. We all are.
But even if people that occasionally drop the ball are honest with themselves and with others, as Getty mentions, it makes a difference.
I unfortunately can count on more than two hands (and two feet) the number of times I have encountered those who appear to be reliable, but end up doing more harm than they do good.
Even worse are those who use outlets like social media to gloat about how they used their time and talents “for good” without realizing how badly they set back the team, group, or project.
There was a saying that became popular during my last year in college:
“When I die, I hope [class project group member] lowers me into my grave so that they can let me down one last time.”
Although it’s hilarious (and morbid), think about it.
Do your actions make others want you on their short list? Or are you just going through the motions?