In the strictest sense of the definition dependability means the ability to be depended upon by others. However, definitions are far too narrow when we are dealing in concepts regarding success.
So, first, what does dependability really mean?
Dependability is really about saying you will do something and then actually follow through with action. It can also be about meeting normally accepted expectations and completing tasks on a consistent basis that leads others to see you as a person who can be counted on to do things correctly and do them within the timeframe they need to be done.
In a sense dependability ends up becoming a matter of developing trust by showing consistency in our actions. Dependability becomes about trusting that someone will do what they say they will do. But this sense of trust and confidence can only be developed over time. How often have we counted on someone to complete a task for us, not ever having asked them in the past to do anything, and then we feel anxiety as to whether the task will actually be completed? The anxiety comes from a lack of trust. There is no track record, no history of previous examples of this person completing even the simplest of assignments. So we become anxious.
So from there, how does dependability become a powerful word for our own success? The answer, quite simply, is when people see us as dependable, this opens doorways for us. For example, in the work environment if you are one of a dozen employees on a team, and you show consistent performance in a timely fashion on a level that is higher than the others on the team, this is noticed by upper management. From there, as you continue to demonstrate consistency in doing what is expected, a level of trust is built. The longer the consistent, dependable behavior continues the more trust is built, creating leverage that will springboard you toward success. Eventually, when a position opens within the company that provides greater authority, responsibility, and (hopefully) a higher salary, your trust level with upper management should at that point stand apart from the rest of the team – so much so that you become the obvious choice for that newly opened position.
We see this example of dependability played out within our martial arts training academies every day. When an individual first becomes a student, there is no level of trust or dependability on day one. But over time, as we observe that student, as well as all the other students, it becomes clear quickly which students perform and behave well on a consistent basis. This develops trust between the students and the instructors. Over time, as the consistency continues, as instructors, we foster and nurture this consistent good performance and behavior, thus deepening the level of trust. In due course, we might then recommend a particular student become a member of our Leadership Program. Within our martial arts training academies we do not allow just any student to become a part of the Leadership Program. They must demonstrate over time that they have the basic capacity to become a leader. One of the qualities of a leader is dependability. Once elevated to the Leadership Program, the student, regardless of their rank assumes a position just above that of the average student. More opportunity is afforded to them because the Leadership Program acts as a springboard toward becoming a future instructor within our schools, as well as giving the student a well-rounded education and experience in becoming a leader. And it all started by them showing a consistent measure of dependability.
So, if you wish to succeed in life, understand the concept of dependability. Follow through with action on the things you say you will do. Develop trust with others through doing this, and be painstakingly consistent over the long term. Combined with other success-building qualities, showing dependability can only lead to one outcome – victory!