Success and Commitment
Commitment is the eleventh C in the twelve part series of the C’s of Success.
Commitment is the one factor or element that truly separates individuals and organizations. The individuals who understand the value of commitment will flourish with purpose and positive outcomes – the ones who hold back on commitment will seldom reach their full potential. And if there is one thing I hear more often from leaders – I wish we had more commitment. Interesting the impact of commitment.
What is Commitment?
The dictionary defines commitment as…
The trait of sincere and steadfast fixity of purpose; “a man of energy and commitment”;
the act of binding yourself (intellectually or emotionally) to a course of action; an engagement by contract involving financial obligation; a message that makes a pledge – formal or informal.
We are basically looking at a bond between an individual and a purposeful course of action. Commitment is the cement for actionable performance. It drives us to complete our personal and organizational objectives in a timely and effective manner.
What is Individual Commitment?
Individual commitment means 100% commitment to yourself, your family, your goals and ideals, your life and then burning the bridges behind you regarding excuses, reasons to fail, or negative self-talk. When an individual is 100% committed to a particular course of action – well, it happens. Seldom are people stopped by anyone but themselves.
One particular area to note is personal relationships and particularly the relationship bond in marriage. There has been a tendency or trend over the past three or four decades to give less than 100% commitment to a marriage. Many individuals want a trading relationship – I’ll give 50% if you give 50% or they will offer selective commitment – I’ll provide the money and you provide everything else or some similar exchange of sharing of responsibility.
The truth is for a marriage to really work out for the long term – the commitment must be 100% from BOTH SIDES OF THE RELATIONSHIP. That is the only way it will work. Otherwise, at some point the effort to maintain a marriage could evolve into a one-sided effort which seldom works in the long term. The more commitment to a marriage the stronger the bond and more the couple will work through the challenges and difficult times that solidify the strength of the relationship.
Another personal or individual area for commitment is relative to your profession of choice. The more you are committed to your profession the more you will do to be the best you can in the position. One thing that I hear more often than I want is the question “I really don’t know what kind of job I want.” Interesting. These people when questioned have a tendency to have little passion about anything or in some cases even working. Usually these are the same people who are complaining about life and others – yet, have no plan for themselves. People need a purpose in life to gather meaning and enhance their self-esteem.
Commitment is an avenue for growing your self-esteem. The ability to like yourself allows others to like you. Being likable allows for more relationships and friendships with others. Then more life type opportunities will appear for you to pick your lifestyle and live life to the fullest.
What is Organizational Commitment?
Now we get to an interesting two way street. Organizational commitment is a two way street relative to the interactions between leadership and their people. Does the culture encourage commitment and engagement? Or does it foster disengagement and a lack of commitment from the very people responsible for the delivery of results to the organization? Maybe commitment is more of a dilemma than a two-way street.
The interesting thing about commitment is… it seems that leaders and managers want more of it, yet are a little fuzzy about how to get commitment. The key to commitment in organizations is about the level of involvement by the very people leaders want commitment to come from. What? You want more involvement from the people in the organization? That sounds like giving up control!
The reality is the more involvement by the people leads to more commitment from the people. Why? Because they feel valued and worthy enough to make a difference by having the opportunity to express their point of view or ideas into the mix. This is a classic situation and follows the equation: Involvement = Commitment. Therefore, the more commitment you want, the more involvement you offer.
This equation is the foundation for the participatory style of management and successful selling strategies with major accounts. More involvement opens the door for more information and in some cases more timely information that favorably impacts decision making at all levels of the organization.
What is interesting about allowing more involvement is your people become more engaged in their jobs and a higher job satisfaction level is maintained. And research has shown that higher levels of job satisfaction has a direct impact upon the performance of the organization.
The question for leaders and managers of organizations is two fold:
- What are you doing to involve your people and teams in the organization?
- How can I get more involvement from my team and individuals?
The results of these efforts will actually give the leaders and managers more control and respect from the teams and individuals within the organization. AND, you people will be committed and engaged in their work. This is important since research into performance issues has uncovered that as many as 55 to 75% of people in organizations are DISENGAGED on the job – actively looking for new jobs, doing minimal work, or waiting for retirement. WOW, what impact could that have on your bottomline?
In summary, commitment is an important element in the level of success an individual or organization will have. The greater the commitment – the higher the level of success. Make commitment a high priority in your life and at the organization and success for both will be greater.
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