Dependability | Getting to the Heart of Our Why

The following content is part of the Interstates Culture Series, a writing collection explaining how Interstates' core company values were uncovered and what they mean to us. These posts from our leaders spotlight the culture at Interstates and share what it’s like to work within our organization, focusing on our values of Dependability, Integrity, Trust, Quality, and Family. Learn about our journey developing these values here.

One thing I have always loved about Interstates’ core values is that they integrate well. For example, dependability, trust, and integrity seem to be one and the same. You can’t be dependable if you aren’t trustworthy. And, almost always, if you have integrity, you are dependable and trustworthy. Interstates’ value of dependability gets to the heart of why each person at a company is essential.

What does dependability look like?

To me, being dependable is not just whether you show up on time or meet the deadlines on your task list. Dependability is about connection – it can come from the top down or the bottom up, but it always needs to be a priority. Every level of your company depends on the others. Leaders are depended on to set the tone and be an example. Team members are depended on to be punctual and meet goals. The HR department is depended on to continue providing talented team members. If I were to make a list of all those I work with that I can and must rely on, it would be extensive.

The biggest challenge I encounter in coaching this value is making sure I am dependable myself. To this day, 15 years after I met him, I still depend on my mentor for guidance in this area. Meeting deadlines, being timely and getting tasks done are examples of how I can execute dependability and model it for others.

Fostering Dependability

Dependability is a process and requires practice. We need to ask ourselves if sometimes we are not being dependable and evaluate how we are supporting our teams. If you aren’t sure about your level of dependability, consider these questions:

  • Can your coworkers depend on you to coach them through a difficult task?
  • Are you present and available when they need you?
  • Can they depend on you to support them through rough times?
  • Are you committing to more than you can handle, thus setting yourself up to be less dependable?

Remember to reward the people you count on and show gratitude for moments of dependability that you see throughout the day. Thank the people who come through for you and be proud of yourself if you are recognized for these things. Positivity and dependability go hand in hand. As you continue to grow as a dependable leader, keep the following statements somewhere close by so you can reflect upon them often.

Dependability means:

  • I will keep my word.
  • I will be on time.
  • I will be honest.
  • I will put in my share of the workload.

Recognizing what makes a person dependable allows you to foster this value in yourself and others. When people know they can lean on you and get the support they need, you can rest assured that you are doing valuable work.


Eric Novotny, Superintendent

Want to see more on how dependability looks at Interstates? Check out this article.
Dependability | Integrity | Trust | Quality | Family


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