How Responsible Are You?

handshake 150x150 How Responsible Are You?Many years ago, when I was growing up, my dad told me: “A man is only as good as his word.” (My dad is one of these old-fashioned Idaho guys who says “man” when he means “person.” But I got the message.) I didn’t get it from what he said though.

I got it from watching him in action. Dad was cautious about committing to volunteering at the church or school, agreeing to help friends chop firewood, or making promises at work that he wasn’t 100 percent sure he could keep. Because when he promised something, he knew he would have to deliver.

With him, it was never a case of “I’ll say yes now, and if I don’t feel like it later, I’ll call with an excuse.” We’ve all been on the receiving end of that and it doesn’t feel good. Most of us have friends we know we can count on, and people we know who have a history of flaking out on us. Which would you rather be?

I started thinking about “Responsibility” this morning, as it is the PACE Character word for October. Responsibility means accountability. Pursuing excellence, and exercising self-control.

What about responsibility in business? A responsible business to me is one that:

  • Delivers what it says it will deliver, on-time and within budget
  • Does not over-promise just to get the job
  • Takes adequate precautions
  • Fixes mistakes
  • Cleans up messes
  • Does the right thing whether legally it has to or not

Have you dealt with a responsible business lately? Did you find them on




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About Holly Doering

Holly Doering has worked for the Better Business Bureau Serving Eastern Washington, North Idaho, and Montana for half a decade. Her areas of expertise include the CORE Values Program (Character, Optimism, Respect, Ethics) for Teens and Charity Review as well as writing and editing. Prior to that, she has written for two newspapers, a local magazine, and taught English at the community college. She is the proud author of a short story in ZYZZYVA literary magazine and has had good luck publishing lots of poetry. Each year she rolls up her sleeves and wades into the autumn Nanowrimo writing madness and has several unfinished novels to her credit.