When I was thinking about getting back into work after my last baby, I was fortunate that through networking and referrals, I was quickly able to meet with a lot of people who said they would introduce me to potential employers. Most people were extremely helpful. However, during this process, I also learned about a new group of people – I call them The Broken Promisers.


I had plenty of people that said they wanted to help me in my job search and made grandiose promises about what they could do for me, or who they could introduce me to, but the vast majority ended up just being empty promises. For me, there is nothing more frustrating or annoying than someone not following through on a promise and it made me reflect on why this happens and what the consequences might be.

 Sometimes we do it knowingly; we make an empty promise, sometimes we might embellish the help we can offer or maybe we don’t even know we are doing it. As a leader in your company, this article focuses on the importance of you keeping your word, following up, and following through.

 If you take a moment and reflect, you might find that you too have a habit of over promising (or just not delivering), and if you do, here are some ideas you might find useful:

  • Breaking a promise is a sign of poor leadership. Weak leaders make promises they aren’t able to keep. Strong leaders will be honest and tell you the truth, not want they think you want to hear.
  • People rely on promises. Whether it’s your employees or your customers, if you say you are going to do something, follow through! If you don’t, word quickly gets around and your reputation will soon be shot!


  1. Make sure you have a process to hold yourself accountable for the promises you make. You might need to take a note of what you have committed to just so you remember.
  2. Even though you may not realize it, other people see a broken promise as a lie! One of the phrases we like to use at Jager is “The way you do ANYTHING is the way you do EVERYTHING”. If you break your promises it is a character weakness, so where else might you fall short?
  3. If you have made a promise and you then you find out that you aren’t able to fulfill it, be honest and let the person you made the promise to know.
  4. IF someone does follow up about a promise that you made but have not been able to keep, own your mistake and let them know. Find a solution.

If any of this strikes a chord with you (or if you feel we have at any time broken a promise to you), please call us at 440.385.6737 or email at contact@jagerconsulting.com. We’d like to put it right!