Have you ever promised a contact that you would follow up, provide information, or otherwise communicate with them on a certain date, only to realize somewhat guiltily the next day that you have neglected to do so? Maybe you forgot to put it in your calendar, or maybe you didn’t have whatever information you expected – but for whatever reason, it just didn’t happen.
It may not seem like a huge problem at the time, particularly if you reach out not long after you promised you would, but being reliable and prompt goes straight to your credibility. Everybody is busy, but the person or persons at the other end of your line of communication can’t read minds and won’t know why you haven’t answered them – and may think you simply flaked.
The best way to become a leader is to have others entrust you with critical tasks and then prove that you can handle them; likewise, as a leader, it’s important to maintain your commitments.
For a broader view on this topic, read Mark Hermann’s smart, tongue-in-cheek article on Above the Law: http://abovethelaw.com/2013/08/ill-get-this-to-you-on-friday/.