Are you honoring your commitments?
Recently, I’ve been reflecting on “commitment” and its importance to building trust. Making commitments to one and another and living up to these commitments is absolutely critical in building trust. We touch on this in our post “The One Thing that Changes Everything” which to learn more about trust we encourage you to read.
Bigger picture wise, I’ve been reflecting on how “commitment” shows up in our culture today and its potential influence on the generations to follow. Honestly, it’s my experience that we live in a culture that, in general, does not honor commitment. Yes, if we ask the average person walking down the street if the honored their commitments, they would likely respond “absolutely”. But really, are we truly honoring our commitments?
Let me set a little context. First, in conjunction with our friends at Zarvos Leadership & Coaching, we coach five levels of commitment. They are:
- “I don’t care”
- Wishing, hoping, and wanting
- Committed “Unless”
- Committed “Whatever it Takes”
Briefly, let’s walk through these levels.
- “I don’t care”– Have you ever been driving down the road with your spouse or a friend and asked them what they want to eat? They respond, “I don’t care” and you say, “let’s have Mexican” and they respond, “uuhhhh, I really don’t want Mexican”. As much as we say we “don’t care” the reality is we really do care.
- Wishing, hoping, and wanting – I’m sure you’ve heard these words in the past. Maybe it’s your Account Executive who says, “I want to land this account” or it’s your Operations Manager saying, “we hope to finish the order by noon tomorrow”. In both levels 1 & 2, we really don’t have a commitment and we’re likely sabotaging our vision.
- Trying – For you that have kids in school, how many times have you heard, “I’m trying to get my grade up” or, “I’m trying to make the team”? If you’re like me, if you had a nickel for every time you’ve heard people “trying” to get something done, you’d be a millionaire.
So, I think most can relate to the first three and we would challenge you to understand that they really don’t truly represent “commitment”. So, focusing on the committed “unless” and “whatever it takes”, let’s make a few observations.
- Committed “unless” can show up as committed, however, “unless” is normally where we fall short. I won’t go into great detail today, however, in a “process for manifesting results”, one of the steps we encourage folks to do is “determine the prices that you’re willing to pay and resolve them”. Relating this to committed “unless”, we need to spend time identifying reasons we might abandon commitments upfront. Let me share an example. At one point in my career, I had a vision to become a President of a mid-size corporation. While it doesn’t have to look this way always, in my particular case, it was requiring a significant time away from family. While I went through several years of my career committed and on the fast track, I came to a point that a price that I wasn’t willing to pay was the amount of time away from family. I also had a few other prices that I wasn’t willing to pay which I won’t get into at this point. So, I had a few “unless” circumstances that prevented me from fulfilling the commitment to become President. This is an example of a longer term commitment, however, hopefully it gives you a prospective of how “unless” shows up.
- Committed “whatever it takes”is the level we coach individuals and their teams toward. There is a great deal of foundation which must be laid upfront for this level. For example, we want to clearly outline your core values and set the context that the only reason you would bail on a commitment would be because it’s in conflict with your core values. Beyond that, wherever we have clear intentions to make a commitment, we condition our minds to always be operating in a mindset of “whatever it takes”. Reality is, no one can operate in a mindset of “whatever it takes” 100% of the time; however, it is the vision.
This is only an overview of the levels of commitment and there is much more to the process. It’s also critically important that you understand we’re presenting this at a “conscious” level and your “subconscious” thinking is actually having more of an impact on your ability to fulfill commitments. If you have a desire to learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
So, setting this context of what true commitment looks like, let me circle back around to our culture. How many of you relate to the following:
- What’s your businesses on-time delivery performance? Is it 100% or have we fallen into a mind-set that if it’s in the 95%+ range we’re “doin pretty good”.
- When’s the last time you had a business appointment cancelled? Depending on the nature of the appointment, some would say 1 out of 5 will “no show” or “call at the last minute to cancel”. We now have an entire industry built around reminder voice mails, emails, and other systems in attempt to improve these statistics.
- When’s the last time you blocked out an evening for a friend only to get a call at the last minute saying they’ve “had something come up” or “they don’t feel good”.
- Or, what about, today’s statistic on marriage with over 50% ending in divorce.
- Yet another may be “Christ-followers”; how many of us are “committed” to truly follow Him?
Now, my point here is not to offend or judge individual circumstances. I’d be the first to admit that I don’t operate at a “whatever it takes” level consistently. What I want to do is raise your awareness that we are living in a culture that is declining in their commitment to honor commitments. As mentioned earlier, it’s likely not that we’re “consciously” lacking commitment most of the time. It’s really about the programming which has gone on so long for most of us “subconsciously”.
As we’ve shared in the past, we all have blind spots which can’t be seen simply by looking in the mirror. Additionally, most of those closest to us have difficulty exposing those blind spots as they fear hurting us and potential retribution. Through our High Performance Coaching process and Truth@Work, we provide that value to hundreds of clients across the globe. Specific to commitments, we’ll walk you through a process to more clearly understanding what commitment looks like and identification of those items to which you’re truly committed. If you’d like to learn more about what this may look like for you specifically, please contact us to set up a time to further discuss.
Thanks for continuing to be a part of our community and have a FANTASTIC day!