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From the monthly archives:

September 2011

Leadership Traits to Transform Your Life – Reliability

by Gary Bamberger on September 19, 2011

Reliability Defined:
The ability to be relied on or depended on, as for accuracy, honesty, or

  1. The quality of being reliable, dependable or trustworthy.
  2. The quality of a measurement indicating the degree to which the measure is consistent, that is, repeated measurements would give the same result (See validity).

The leadership trait we’re tackling this month is reliability.  When I think of reliable people, I think of people who are dependable and have a high degree of integrity.  This includes communicating clearly what they will do and when, then meeting that commitment.  And, because reliability involves building trust, everything they say and do will impact other people’s perception of how reliable they are.  They build or tear down trust with everything that they do and every commitment that they keep or break.  To be reliable, other people must be willing to count on them.

When applied to personal transformation, there are other aspects to reliability.  One distinction is that you need to count on you.  Personal transformation is all about you, and your opinion of the trail you blaze is the one that matters.  Only you know how reliable and accountable you are to yourself.  Are you able to keep your commitments to yourself, whether they be exercising regularly, investing in your growth in some way, eating healthy foods or taking time to enjoy life?

I’ve noticed that some people set such high standards for themselves that meeting their own expectations is unrealistic, which may impact their perception of reliability.  Some people establish stretch goals in order to strive to achieve more than what they would ordinarily accomplish.  If you choose to do this, you must handle this properly because you risk setting yourself up for failure.  This, in turn, could result in your saboteurs and gremlins running wild by telling you how you’re not [something] enough (feel free to substitute your saboteur’s own favorite adjective).  If negative self-talk becomes a habit, it can rob you of the momentum needed to climb the next hill.

The other extreme I’ve witnessed is people who are undisciplined and unable to hold themselves accountable.  Mental discipline is necessary to stay focused and dedicated to achieving a goal.  Without this discipline, personal reliability erodes and is replaced with procrastination, avoidance, apathy and/or blaming others.  Certainly, there may be underlying reasons in some circumstances that cause this thinking.  The key is realizing whether there is a pattern of consistently thinking this way about certain tasks, particular activities, or is it a generalized habit.  I am very familiar with this as it’s a pattern I’ve worked to change in my life.

One method to help increase your reliability is to enlist an accountability partner.  Select someone you know whom you respect, trust and are willing to listen to when s/he shares perceptions.  Or, you may be more willing to listen to someone you’re not as close to.  Coaches are a good source for accountability partners.  To learn more about having an accountability partner, contact me at

Inquiries for Pondering
On a scale of 1-10, where would you rate your reliability with yourself?
What would it look and feel like if you were at a 10?


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