Leadership Thought #303 – Live Up To Your Commitments

February 22, 2012

FBC Lakewood

Commitments are a critical part of achievement. The most successful people I know do what they say they are going to do when they say they are going to do it.  They are also good at being “present” in the moment and fully engaged in whatever they are doing.  They avoid distractions and abhor excuses.  High performance is not optional but instead a way of life.  To them, hyper-performance and multi-tasking is for amateurs.

Success in business and in life really isn’t all that complicated:

  • Have a clear goal,
  • figure out the best route to achieve that goal,
  • create a plan of action, take the requisite action,
  • and maintain your focus regardless of the obstacles.

This doesn’t mean there won’t be bumps along the way or diversions.  In fact, your definition of success may change, especially as other people enter and exit your life.  However, always know where you are going and what it takes to get there.  Never give up or lose hope.  Life has a way of testing how bad you want something.

I have noticed a disturbing trend among leaders these days that it’s okay to overbook your schedule and rationalize non-performance.  It’s not a question of working hard.  Some of the people I know who are struggling have a fantastic work ethic.  Unfortunately, they are often working hard due to a lack of focus, poor planning, or over commitment.   There is nothing more fruitless and frustrating than working hard on the wrong things.   In addition, all of our technological devices can tempt us with the illusion of being always available and instantaneously aware of everything but leaders aren’t actually leading others if they have to be constantly plugged in to what is going on.

We all have examples in our life of times when we had a laser like focus on something and stayed the course until we achieved what we wanted.  I’m sure there were many opportunities to get distracted or fall off course; however we remained steadfast and did what was required to achieve success.  I encourage you to reflect on and leverage these personal experiences to your benefit as often as possible.  If you are being honest with yourself, you already know the formula that leads to personal and professional accomplishment.

A leader’s job is to simplify not complicate things.  They need to rally others around a common purpose with a clear definition of success and what it takes to get there.   It’s critical that they learn to lead by example and that they create a result-driven culture built on a mindset of personal accountability.  If you are not careful, if you are always late, if you continually disappoint others, if you are always making excuses and rationalizing less than stellar results, these things can become bad habits that are hard to break.  Once you have a clear plan of action, live up to your commitments and expect others to do the same.  It really is that simple.