The Power of Commitment.


The Power of Commitment.

Steve Wood. 14th Feb 2023.

[Warning. Long post – but hopefully you’ll find it worthwhile and thought provoking.]


Are you in and willing to do the work?

That question is one which you as a business leader might from time to time, ask yourself or your staff. Are you in and willing to do the work, or just spinning the wheels… or have you checked OUT?

An example.  A question of where?

At a leadership team meeting, the leader asked the question of the assembled team, “What do you want?”

Would you prefer Option A… work towards idea X?

Or would you prefer Option B… to work harder to find a better choice than Option A?

It turns out that a significant proportion of the participants were not happy about the prospect of Option A. They weren’t too pleased about Option B either!  Certainly, a pressure situation for everyone involved.


In or Out

This got me thinking about what causes people to commit to being IN or OUT.

I see this from time to time, when a group needs to make a challenging, perhaps uncomfortable decision, about future direction.

I’m of the view, there are three factors to consider:

  1. Do you know what needs to be done?
  2. Do you understand why it needs to be done?
  3. Are you willing to do the work?
What Why Willing

What is to be done?

If we know What is to be done, then we can create a plan for doing it.

If we are unclear or we are guessing at a solution to a tricky problem, especially one where we might not know the root cause, then the chances of picking a winner are much lower.

Look back at 2020 to 2021, when we were grappling with COVID.

Were we clear about what to do?  Yes… stop the spread of the disease.

How?  Unfortunately, however, isolation is tricky to plan, manage and control.  People do not like being couped up.

In that time period, there were multiple opinions about what to do.  Some opinions came from very respected sources, others came from Facebook opinion posts.  And of course, people solve problems their own way. Technical people love technical solutions, process people migrate towards process solutions.  Then there are those who like people-based solutions, financial solutions, legal solutions – and so on.

So which solutions are correct?

All?  Definitely not.

Some?  Probably.  And most likely from a small proportion of the most reputable sources. But, we can be biased, and even experts do get it wrong from time to time!

Why is something needed?

If we know why something is needed, we can then filter the thinking and work towards addressing the challenge.

For example:

  • “I need to lose weight because I am unhealthy.”
  • “I need to work so I can earn enough to house and protect my family.”
  • “I want to walk 10,000 steps every morning, otherwise I will not get any exercise during the day, and after a while I know I will become ill.  I don’t want to be ill.”
  • “I will help my teammates because I know it is the right thing to do and in the long run it will help me.”
  • “I will contribute because it will get us all back together sooner rather than later.”

Am I willing to do the work?

Finally, am I willing to do the work?  If not, my view is do not start.  Exit yourself from the situation.

Passengers are easily spotted and are unwelcome.

Please do not be a passenger and allow others to do all the work.  Either you find a way of helping or you get out of the way completely.

If you are willing, then find a way of committing.

  • Commit to small things, medium things, specific things.
  • Commit yourself to turning up… every time.
  • Commit yourself to doing that one thing… every day.
  • Commit yourself to following your plan.

Don’t have a plan?  Then commit yourself to writing down your plan, on paper or in an electronic document somewhere.  Then commit yourself to doing at least one thing towards achieving your plan every day.

You’ll be like the tortoise and will beat the hare.

You will be an overnight success… after years of practice and repetition.

You will achieve far more than the vast majority, who unfortunately, bumble along and wonder where the time went and ask themselves what happened?

The power of the model is in its simplicity.

  • I don’t understand… so I do nothing.
  • I don’t know what to do… so I do nothing.
  • I don’t want to do it… so I do nothing.

And so, I end up doing nothing.  Is that what you really want?

Or would you prefer to move forward – understanding what is needed, learning and knowing what to do and then working on doing the right things.

About the Author:/campaigns/org693477220/sitesapi/files/images/693091854/https_proxy.jpg

Steve Wood is a management consultant who helps business owners to achieve their own roaring success.  > Read full profile


Latest Posts