I saw the movie Saving Mr. Banks over the weekend — a mostly true account of Walt Disney’s attempts to gain the rights to produce Mary Poppins from author P. L. Travers — a task that took him nearly 20 years.

Disney is quoted as saying that he remained persistent with the curmudgeonly woman because he made a promise to his daughters to make their beloved Mary Poppins character into a movie — and a promise is something that he “never ever” breaks.

Most people don’t go to the lengths that Disney did to honor their word.  Many do not even fulfill their promises for simple tasks in the short term.  I have been listening to Fred Kaufman’s Conscious Business, a course about consciously creating integrity between what you say and what you do.

Take a lesson from Kaufman and Disney and be more intentional about honoring your word.  If you say you will send some information to a colleague by the end of the day, make every attempt to do it.  If you say you will call, be sure to pick up the phone.  If you promise yourself that you will go to the gym after work, mean what you say.

And if you say you will do something that doesn’t work out as planned and takes a decade or two to fulfill, don’t give up easily.  It’s not just Mr. Banks that was saved by Disney’s persistence; it was Walt’s integrity with his daughters.

— beth triplett

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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