Daily Leadership Thought #139 – When You Commit – Fully Commit!

October 7, 2018


When you commit to something, do you see it through and own your responsibilities?

I am regularly flabbergasted by the number of professional people I interact with who think it is okay to just miss or be late to meetings and/or under-perform on commitments as it suits them.  This is especially true when it come to peer group, philanthropic or voluntary responsibilities.  I do my best to give people the benefit of the doubt and understand that they can be stretched way too thin, but after a while, why should this be anyone’s problem but their own?  Whatever happened to personal responsibility?  We are all busy. We are all striving to find work-life balance.  Life is about making choices and establishing priorities.

Once you commit to something you should fulfill your responsibilities.  This doesn’t mean that emergencies and/or scheduling mishaps won’t happen, but they should be the exception not the rule.  Being disciplined is hard but it’s a requirement if you ever want to get anything significant accomplished in work or life.  It is also rude to always have the burden fall on other people who are more dependable and responsible than you.  Your actions are ultimately representative of your personal brand – good, bad or otherwise.

Your intentions may be pure, but ultimately it is your actions that matter.  Doing just what you can should never be viewed as good enough.   Excuses are the refrain of people who are too self-important for their own good.  They are also quick to pass blame on to others.  Why is your time any more important than anyone else’s?  Have you ever noticed that truly successful people tend to get things done and live up to their commitments?  People quickly learn that you can count on them and respond in kind.  There is an ease that forms in relationships where there is mutual accountability.  When you have limited time, you want to invest in people who make your efforts worth it.

A regular refrain I hear from people is that there is too much to do and not enough time.  However, if you are being honest with yourself, whose fault is it when you find yourself in this situation?  You! If you are over-committed then scale back. If you are struggling with establishing priorities then seek guidance or help.  Be more realistic about deadlines and allow yourself some more flexibility on the back-end.   Calendar meeting dates and deadlines and keep them to them in all but rare cases.  Learn to say “no” so that when you say “yes” it actually means something.  If someone has offered you the courtesy of their professional time, then be respectful of that gift.  However, don’t overload yourself with things that truly don’t interest you or you don’t have time for out of some misguided notion of respect.  Honesty is always the better policy.

It’s not okay to leave other people hanging.  It’s not okay to regularly miss meetings or deadlines.  It’s not okay to talk a good game but then fall flat on execution.  It’s not okay to over-commit and under-deliver.  It’s not okay to always rely on the good graces of other people to make up for your own shortcomings. When you commit to something – fully commit!  It really is that simple.