• Performing well in a consistent manner over a long period of time

  • Yielding dependable and predictable outcomes again and again

  • Contributing to the team on a consistent and trusted basis

It’s that time once again…college football is underway! Depending on how the first few weeks of the season have gone, you’re cautiously optimistic or you’re already looking toward next year. As for me, my beloved Sooners are 3 and 0 heading into this week’s game with Texas Tech. The Sooner nation is excited to see if the little known transfer from Alabama can help them get to and win a national championship this year. 
If you know who I’m talking about, then you know I’m being a little facetious. So far Jalen Hurts has managed to win the starting QB job and be nominated as one of the team captains, while managing to set several new school records along the way. The thing I love about this young man is he doesn’t rest on his accomplishments during his time at Alabama. He came into the Sooner’s program and put in the hard work required of him to become a productive member of the team. He’s slowly winning over the hearts and minds of every Sooner fan in the country.
Which leads me to the GuideMark I’m writing about this week – Reliability. Having played team sports from age 6 through high school, I learned the lesson of what it means to be a reliable member of a team. At an early age, my parents drilled into our heads that we would honor our commitment to them and to our team if we signed up to play a sport. They didn’t care if we ever played that sport again, but they absolutely cared that their sons were someone our coaches and teammates could depend on. They didn’t care if we won or lost the game, but they did care about us working just as hard in practice as we did during the game. They wanted their sons to be known as young men who could be trusted to show up and put in the work necessary to succeed.  
At age 6, that really never translated into anything tangible for me. I think I just marked it up to my parents being my parents. As I grew up and matured, I learned what they meant when they told us we had to honor our commitments to them and to our team. I also learned that being a reliable person was just as important in my daily life off the field, as it was on the field. Lastly, I learned to be trusted. I would show up every day and perform to the best of my abilities. 
Because the E-rate program is so difficult and time consuming, our clients depend on us, as the E-rate experts, to provide them with predictable and consistent guidance they can rely on throughout each step of the E-rate process. I believe we can only accomplish these tasks through successful teamwork. To provide consistent and reliable service, we have to strive for dependable performance from each member of our team. This can only be accomplished when each E-rate guide buys into the importance of performing each task to the best of their abilities. If we fail to do that, we fail those around us, and more importantly, we fail our clients, our students, our communities, and other stakeholders of the E-rate program. In the words of the flight director of the Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle missions, Gene Kranz, “Failure is not an option.”

Key Words and Phrases
Dependability; Consistently able to be trusted; Constant; Yielding the same results repeatedly; Responsible; Solid and sure; Predictable; Stable and steadfast.

Opposite Terms
Undependable; Faltering; Irresponsible; Can’t be counted on.

GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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