Monday, September 22, 2008

The value of one's word

When I was 19 and attending New Mexico State University as a music major, I earned part of my tuition money by playing electric bass and trombone in a six-piece party band. I was the businessman in the band, which meant that I was responsible for booking our gigs, sending out contracts, collecting the money, and paying the other musicians.

One day I received a call asking for the band to play a Saturday wedding several weeks out for $600. I agreed to play the gig and promised to get a contract in the mail. Two days later, before I sent the contract, I received another call for the same Saturday night for $1,000. I was in a quandary (or so I thought).

That afternoon, I went to see Sam Trimble, one of my college professors to get some advice. I explained the situation and he simply replied, "What's the question?" On my second round of explaining, I emphasized the fact that I had yet to send the contract out on the first booking. His response was, "There's no issue here. Did you commit to the $600 gig?" I replied, "Yes." He added, "Then you play the $600 gig. Simple as that."

That formed the basis of my personal ethics regarding the value of my word. It's different from the things my parents taught me: Right from wrong; never tell a lie, etc. You can convince yourself that it's full of nuance or that it's complicated. But it's not. No, it's really very simple.

That's what I learned from Professor Trimble.

Copyright 2008 Randy Hunt

1 comment:

  1. Randy a very long time ago a wise man `once told me that a mans word is his bond. Now in todays world with all of the different excuses one can generate to not honor a man's or womens bond It is rather refreshing to see that you have learned the right message from the experience.

    To many politicians failed to grap the full meaning of when they were out stumping for a elected position they made promises that were hard to keep and in some cases impossiable to keep.

    Making a pledge to do something and then following through with it is the ultimite bond of trust one can achieve.

    That is why we are fortunate here in Sandwich to have you in the position you now serve.

    One's word is also about being honest and forthright. Many of our politicians today have failed to realize the importance of truth.

    Carl J


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