EB102 - Due Diligence © Question:  I think I have a good work ethic because I work long hours and worry about what needs to be done.  Is that what is meant by the term "due diligence?"

Larry:  Worry will only make you look old and serious. Due diligence is a systematic or disciplined way to follow through on our work -- giving each fact, event, issue or problem the "diligence it is due."  When managers fail, their attitudes toward diligence can be observed in rather obvious ways (notwithstanding the worry lines on their face).  Here are some tips:

1) Do you assume and presume?  To assume is to take for granted as reliable or true, without proof.   To presume is to assume and take action, without testing for proof.  Think of how often you have heard someone say things that sound like an excuse?  For instance, “I assumed you knew what I meant,” or “I thought you had that covered.”

2) How do you test and prove the facts?  A test is the means by which the presence, quality or genuineness of something is determined.  The proof of a matter is in the facts by which it is established.  A realistic test to establish the facts might be accomplished by a few questions specifically related to what must be proven.  However, a conversation about the weather will not suffice for detailed questions related to a person’s competency.

3) Are your stated values and practiced values the same?  When leaders say one thing but do another, they undermine people’s trust in them.  As people lose faith in a person’s character or decision-making, they will become less willing to take the risks involved in providing the leader with reliable facts.