As a leader, you must realize no one is as committed to success of the organization as you. Your challenge is to motivate those you lead, those who do the work and enable success of the organization, to be truly committed to success of the mission as well as their individual success. The secret is to ensure their commitment is an acceptance and loyalty to being a part of something bigger than oneself. Did the individual join your team or commit to your team? Now, commitment does not mean following the leader and his/her path blindly toward a goal. True commitment requires re-evaluation periodically to ensure goal alignment and re-invigorate motivation.
In the Air Force, it is said individuals join the service on day one, but commit to the airmen identity much later. Does your leadership style involve recruiting your team every day? Do you continue to motivate them toward the goal or just order them down the path?
Article I of the U.S. Military Code of Conduct states:
I am an American,
fighting in the forces which guard my country and our way of life.
I am prepared to give my life in their defense.
In my opinion, this is the epitome of commitment. But how do they inspire over 300,000 people every year to dedicate themselves in this manner? It is about being a part of something bigger than yourself. It is knowing there is a big difference between wanting and doing. It is about being allowed to make mistakes, but with the knowledge you are not allowed to do it halfway.
Keep your eyes open and keep your wings sharp.
If in that moment you’re undecided, you’ll fail.
The key to commitment lies in your team knowing knowing not only what they are a part of… but how they personally, and individually, make a difference. Understanding how their duties, their tasks, what they commit their lives to contributes to the success of the organization. That is commitment. Too many leaders work to inspire. Well, inspiration may be important and valued, but it is also a temporary flash in the pan. The commitment you seek is the conversion of this temporary inspiration into something more lasting and enduring. It is the commitment which results from building the ‘we’ in an organization and, together, guaranteeing the success each of us search for in our jobs, careers, families and lives.
Are you committed to those who commit to you?
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