YKK Stories

2019-03-04 Issue 89 – Fundamental Behavior 9 – Honor commitments

March 4, 2019
Author: YKK
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As I write to you this week I am coming up on my two year anniversary of joining YKK. One of the many things that I have come to appreciate working here has been the fact that the company’s Core Values and Fundamental Behaviors align with those that my parents have instilled in me since I was very young. Do the Right Thing Always, Embrace Diversity, Lead by Example, Honor Commitments, Be a Team Player, Pay Attention to the Details, Give Back were not just talked about, they were part of the fabric of my upbringing.

This week’s Fundamental Behavior, Honor Commitments, has taken on a whole new meaning to me recently. Several years ago my Dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and has been in a steady decline ever since. The disease has taken its toll on him to the point that he is no longer capable of taking care of himself. Mom, already anointed into sainthood nearly fifty years ago after giving birth to her fourth boy (me) in four years, never considered anything but devoting every minute of her day to taking care of Dad.

For the past couple of years my brothers and I pushed for her to consider putting him in a nursing home so that she could free up her time to enjoy her life – travel with friends, spend more time with her grandchildren or maybe even just get a good night’s sleep. To our bewilderment she refused saying, “I’m not abandoning your father.” Needless to say, our family was shocked and heartbroken when Mom’s brief but fierce battle with lung cancer took her away from us a few weeks ago.

Having had time to reflect, it’s obvious that Mom took her wedding vows very seriously… “In sickness and in health until death do us part.” If that isn’t Honoring Commitments, I don’t know what is!

My original plan was to write a literary masterpiece about fulfilling promises to customers, showing up to meetings on-time or returning emails. Those things seem pretty basic now and should be the least of what we do. I would like for us to take it a step further and find out what it is that our loved ones, communities and customers need and do everything we can to be there for them.

Chris Gleeson
Global Marketing Group, Director
YKK (U.S.A.) Inc.