Picture this – Young me, fresh out of business school, wide-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to take on the world, or at least the small part of it assigned to me in my first role at a Fortune 500 company. Now, I was no Steve Jobs, inventing revolutionary gadgets in my garage. But I did have a killer spreadsheet game, and boy, did I know how to keep those invoices in check.

One particularly foggy Tuesday morning, our company was on the brink of losing a major client. It all hinged on this one ridiculously convoluted deal. The kind of deal that you look at, and it just screams “disaster.” I was handed this ticking time bomb and asked to “handle it”. Well, pressure makes diamonds, right? Or it causes nervous breakdowns. In my case, thankfully, it was the former.

What I had going for me was reliability. I was the guy who showed up, did his job, and stayed till the job was done right. In this high-stakes game, I wasn’t the wild card; I was the dependable club two, always there when you need to play a safe hand.

And guess what? I pulled it off. The deal was secured, the client was pleased, and I got my first taste of victory in the corporate world. Not because I pulled some innovative trick out of my sleeve, but because I was dependable. This was my first powerful lesson about the underrated value of reliability in business.

So, let’s cut to the chase – what the heck does dependability mean in a business context? It’s more than just being the guy who always refills the coffee pot (though trust me, you’ll make a lot of friends that way). Dependability is about delivering consistently good work, meeting deadlines, and maintaining a steady demeanor even when all hell is breaking loose around you.

Mastering the art of dependability, my friends, can be a game-changer. Because in a world full of uncertainties, a little bit of certainty goes a long way. And, no one remembers the one-hit-wonder who saved the day once. It’s the person who consistently delivers they can count on. And that’s what I’m here to help you unpack – the power of being that person.

The Dependability Misconception

Now let’s tackle some misconceptions head-on. Dependability – it might conjure images of a steadfast mule, plodding along a dusty track, laden with goods but never faltering. Not the sexiest picture, right? Well, you’re wrong. Let’s squash that myth like a bug under our collective heel. Dependability does not equal boring. Heck, one of the most dependable people I know once roller-skated to work just because his car broke down. Try calling that boring.

There’s a weird kind of magic in being predictable. Think about it. When you’re dependable, people learn to expect certain things from you, like consistently good results. That means they start to trust you with bigger tasks, tougher clients, more complicated projects. And before you know it, being “predictable” can actually lead to unpredictably good outcomes. So, being dependable is not about playing it safe all the time. It’s about setting a level of expectation and then smashing it out of the park.

Next up in our ring of misconceptions – the “flashy vs. steady” debate. We’ve all known that person – the one who storms into a room like a tornado, full of big ideas, flashy presentations, and an ego the size of a small planet. Sometimes they’re successful, and sometimes they crash and burn spectacularly. But let me tell you, in the long run, reliability beats showmanship, hands down.

Why? Because while the flashy types can definitely impress, it’s the steady ones who deliver results. When deadlines need to be met, when fires need to be put out, when things are just plain falling apart – who do you turn to? The one who can talk a good game, or the one who can actually play the game? And in the big leagues of business, where your reputation is your most valuable currency, being known as the one who delivers is worth more than all the glitz and glam in the world.

Lastly, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – the underestimation of dependability. Maybe because it’s not glamorous, or maybe because it seems like such a ‘given’, this skill is often overlooked. It doesn’t make headlines, it doesn’t break the internet. But, my oh my, is it valuable.

Think about all the things in your business that rely on dependability. Your supply chains, your customer service, your team’s performance, heck, even your coffee machine. Now, imagine if even one of those things failed. Chaos, right? That’s the power of dependability – it keeps the wheels turning, the lights on, and the coffee flowing. So, underestimate it at your own peril.

The Power of Being Dependable

Okay, so we’ve busted some myths. You’re now convinced that dependability is not just for mules and coffee machines. But, what’s the real deal? Why should you care about being dependable? Allow me to introduce you to the Dependability Quotient – the secret sauce of business success.

Every successful business thrives on dependability. Don’t believe me? Let’s play a quick game. I say ‘Amazon’, and you think…? That’s right, “prime delivery.” We’ve all come to depend on that sweet 2-day shipping, haven’t we? Amazon is an excellent example of a company that built its brand on being reliable.

And it’s not just the big guns. I’ve made dependability a priority in all my startups. And, let me tell you, it’s like a magic wand that transforms ‘potential customers’ into ‘loyal clients.’ It’s no coincidence that the businesses I’ve been involved with that have prioritized dependability are the ones that have survived and thrived.

Which brings me to another power aspect of being dependable – trust. Dependability and trust go hand in hand like burgers and fries – you can’t really enjoy one without the other. Building trust is like building a castle. It takes time, effort, and a whole lot of bricks. But, being dependable, consistently delivering on your promises, that’s like having an automatic brick-making machine.

Think about the businesses you trust. Chances are, they’ve been reliable, dependable, and consistent. They’ve met your expectations, and because of that, you’ve come to rely on them. This isn’t just true for businesses. It applies to individuals too. Being dependable helps you foster strong relationships, not just with customers, but with colleagues, bosses, and employees.

Last but not least, dependability can be a real career accelerator. Imagine you’re in a race, but instead of running, you’re delivering on tasks. The dependable people are the ones who steadily move forward, one task at a time, while the undependable ones stumble, stop, maybe even move backwards. In this race, who do you think is going to reach the finish line first?

Dependability might not get you promoted overnight, but it’s a surefire way to gradually climb up the ladder. It’s the power of the steady, relentless forward motion, the constant progress that makes you outperform those who sprint and then stop to catch their breath.

Cultivating Dependability: The Long Game

Dependability isn’t something you’re born with, like eye color or a penchant for spicy food. No, my friends, dependability is a skill, and like all skills, it can be cultivated, developed, and honed to perfection. The good news? Anyone can do it. The caveat? It takes time, consistency, and a whole lot of grit.

The first principle of cultivating dependability is the ‘show up and deliver’ principle. Remember when your high school coach said, ‘Half the game is just showing up’? Well, they weren’t wrong. Just showing up, being present, ready, and willing, is the first step to being dependable. Then comes the second part – deliver. Whatever you’ve committed to doing, do it. No excuses, no delays. Show up, and deliver. Over time, this simple mantra will help you become a bastion of dependability.

Dependability is also about consistency. Just being dependable once isn’t enough. It’s about being dependable over and over again, in small ways and big ways. As they say, ‘repetition is the mother of skill’, and it couldn’t be truer when it comes to dependability. It’s not just about one big win; it’s about all the little wins, the daily victories of showing up, of delivering, of being reliable.

This doesn’t mean you won’t stumble. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of missteps. The key is to acknowledge the mistake, learn from it, and most importantly, not let it shake your resolve. Remember, this is the long game. The path to becoming Mr. or Ms. Dependable isn’t always smooth, but I guarantee you, it’s worth it.

The final piece of the puzzle is making dependability a part of your identity. Being dependable shouldn’t be something you do; it should be something you are. That might sound daunting, but think of it this way – when dependability becomes a part of your identity, it starts to seep into all areas of your life. It helps improve relationships, fosters trust, and brings about a sense of inner calm and confidence that’s hard to beat.

Over the years, being dependable has had a significant positive impact on my personal life, too. Whether it’s planning a vacation or being there for a friend in need, being known as a dependable person is a badge I wear with pride. Dependability, you see, is not just about business. It’s a way of life.


So, we’ve been on a bit of a rollercoaster, haven’t we? We started with a personal story about my first brush with the power of dependability. We busted some myths and misconceptions, talked about the true power of being dependable, and dished out some advice on how you can cultivate this incredibly valuable skill.

If you remember nothing else, remember this: dependability is powerful, incredibly underrated, and it can become a game-changer for your business and career. It’s not about being flashy or about short-term gains. It’s about the long game – about showing up, delivering, and doing it over and over again.

And now, it’s over to you. I’ve done my part. I’ve given you the knowledge, shared my experiences, and hopefully convinced you about the virtues of dependability. The ball’s in your court now.

Start small. Show up. Deliver. Repeat. It’s not rocket science, but it will require effort, persistence, and yes, a whole lot of grit. But remember, each step you take on this journey will take you one step closer to becoming that entrepreneur, that professional, that person who people can depend on.

As we wrap this up, I want to leave you with one last personal story. Early in my career, I was told that I was too dependable. That I was the “steady hand” and that I should try to be more exciting, more unpredictable. But you know what? I wouldn’t change a thing. My journey, with all its steadiness, all its dependability, has been nothing short of extraordinary. And, you know what they say, slow and steady wins the race.

So, here’s to being dependable, to being the steady hand. Here’s to winning the race. One dependable step at a time.

About the Author: Geoffrey Byers
Geoffrey is one of the world's foremost Designers. He is also a Serial Entrepreneur, Author, Speaker, and Mad Scientist. Hypothesis-Driven experimentation is his love language.