Another Printing Disasters—and How to Avoid Them story…

Last week I fielded a few requests for referrals to good graphic designers, printers, and building contractors. As I described the vendors I recommended, I found myself saying, “These guys do what they say they will.” That’s high praise in my book.

The Stuckrath maxim

You see, I believe in the maxim handed down by my German-American grandfather, Kendall Stuckrath: “Your word is your bond.” No, he didn’t invent the maxim, but he did try to live by it. (He also seeded two generations of perfectionists while he was at it, but that’s another story!)

Granted, nobody is perfect, darn it, and I for one have felt sheepish when I haven’t been able to keep a promise for one reason or another.

But I’ll bet that 99% of the time, most of us who provide a professional service knock ourselves out to make good on our word and refrain from making promises we can’t keep.

A designer friend and I talked about this just today. “That’s why parents tell their kids, ‘we’ll just have to see,’” he commented.

As the tables turn

A copywriter friend once advised me, “It doesn’t matter where you work next in advertising, it matters how you work. After all, you’ll see us all again.” She was so right! Former fellow employees became vendors, supervisors became clients, and co-workers became hiring managers.

Nobody can foretell which side of the bargaining table they’ll be sitting on in future business interactions. So when power relationships shift—as they inevitably do—and we find ourselves seated on a different side of that table than we were before, I am convinced that being regarded as people who keep our word can only help our prospects and yield great referrals.

Well we all shine on,
Like the moon and the stars and the sun,
Yeah we all shine on,
On and on and on on and on.

John Lennon, from “Instant Karma”

Story © 2010 Nani Paape