YKK Stories

Fundamental Behavior 9 – Honor Commitments

August 20, 2021
Author: YKK
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Honor commitments


Commitment is what transforms a promise into reality. Honor is a moral quality that drives a person to act correctly. If we talk about Commitment of Honor together, it would be the ability of every human being to become aware of the importance of fulfilling the development of their work within the stipulated time. By committing ourselves, we put our capacities to the maximum to carry out an entrusted task, taking into account that we know the conditions that we are accepting and the obligations that this entails since it supposes a permanent effort towards the achievement of an established objective.

And this brings to mind a book by an American philosopher and writer named Elbert Hubbard. He wrote a little booklet called “A Message to Garcia,” and he says:

There was a man whose performance in the Cuban War of Independence shines in my memory like the sun in its full splendor. It happened that in that war, when the United States decided to intervene in favor of the Cuban rebels, the need for an immediate understanding between the American president and the head of the patriots, General Calixto García, became very clear. But how to do it? God knows where Garcia was at that time, perhaps on some dark mountain hidden in the interior of the island. And it was absolutely necessary to get in touch with him to organize the attack and defense plans. But how to get that office into his hands? What to do?

Then someone said to the president, “I know a man named Rowan. If any person in the world is capable of finding García, it is him.” They call Rowan. They ask him to go in search of Garcia, wherever he is, and at the cost of any sacrifice, send him that most important letter. Rowan takes the letter, keeps it well hidden in an inside pocket. Four days later, he disembarks on the shores of Cuba, which is in the hands of the Spanish, disappears into the dark jungle, to appear again three weeks later at the other end of the island. He crosses a territory strewn with dangers where enemies abound everywhere, and delivers the letter to Garcia. With this action, the two fronts coordinate actions and the war is won.

How did he get to where the addressee of his letter was? It is something so interesting that it would be worth writing a novel about it. But I have no interest in describing here how this happened. The point I want to draw attention to is this: The boss gives Rowan a letter to take to Garcia. Rowan takes the letter and does not ask: “But where can I find this Garcia? Where am I going to go? Will this be easy? Won’t this job bring dangers? And why me and not someone else?” None of these questions or comments. He just leaves to fulfill what has been entrusted to him.

Oh my, my friend! We are here before a man whose statue should be made of marble or bronze and placed at the entrance of many schools where people are taught to acquire personality. Because what must be taught to people who want to acquire true character is: how to fulfill the duty that we have to do as accurately as possible every time, and how to concentrate all our energies to achieve our goals, and manage to dedicate ourselves with all the soul to action, to “take the message to Garcia.”

General García has already died. But many “Garcías” still live in this world. They are all those who need our optimism and courage to act. If we bring this to our jobs, what discouragement do supervisors, bosses, managers of a company feel when they need the collaboration of enthusiastic people and are stunned by laziness, lack of spirit, sacrifice, and initiative, and the energy and perseverance of collaborators to execute the tasks that each one must fulfill.

Coarseness, guilty inattention, carelessness, and indifference are floating everywhere. These seem to be the general rule of thumb for many people. Many perform their duties so carelessly that if they were soldiers in a war they would have already been shot as deserters. And yet you cannot achieve success in a company if you do not get your employees and those in charge to dedicate themselves with ardor to fulfilling their own duties. Otherwise a true miracle of God is necessary. But when God comes to help, the first thing he demands is that each one of us be doing with enthusiasm and dedication what he or she has to do, that we fulfill our tasks with a commitment of honor.

Lately you hear about a worker exploited by an employer. Or an honest person who has looked for work everywhere and cannot find it. That so-and-so became rich because he exploited others or that foreigners come to the country and immediately become rich. It may be, but what they do not explain is that this person was not afraid to take his letter to García. That he wasn’t afraid to get up at 4:00 a.m. and working late at night, that on weekends instead of going for drinks he went to make progress plans or to perfect his knowledge. That while the others chatted, he worked and tried in vain to teach others to perform jobs that neither want to learn nor care. That while the others slept, he was looking for solutions. That is why they succeeded because they knew how to launch into action without fear or laziness, and that they will keep by their side the most skilled and hard-working, those capable of taking the message to Garcia.

Not all employers are harsh and predatory, nor are all poor people virtuous. My heart goes out to those workers who work the same when the foreman is present as when he is absent, the man or woman who takes charge of taking the message to Garcia without asking meaningless questions and without the perverse intention of throwing it down the first gutter. My heart is not with the one who keeps complaining, looking for excuses for not having achieved fame or success, but with those who threw themselves with all their soul to look for formulas to succeed. And as everyone who seeks finds, they found the formulas, and by striving, they achieved success.

Ricardo Rapalo
Sales & Marketing Manager