The Potential Found in Making Commitments


The Potential Found in Making Commitments - by Coach Julie Poland


Effective leadership of others begins with leadership of self. Part of leading oneself is holding a set of core values and living congruently with them. Another part – a big one - of leading yourself is when you choose to commit to something.


When you deeply commit to something you follow through, despite obstacles. You do it even when nobody is watching. You persist even (maybe especially) when you don’t feel like it, or when it is not convenient.


A commitment is a decision. When you feel challenged by your commitment, feeling like the hurdles are insurmountable or that it’s taking too long to see the results you expected, it’s tempting to tell yourself that it wasn’t that big a deal anyway. It’s tempting to stop for the day and bail out on what you told yourself or others you were going to do. If you are considering dropping out on your commitment, consider this question: Is this the time for making a new decision, or for problem solving instead?


Maybe you’re not sure whether you should problem solve or change your decision. If that’s the case, ask yourself how important this commitment is to you. How important is it to the other stakeholders in your life? What is the impact of this commitment on your business, your health, etc.? Big impacts require big commitments – or a series small commitments fulfilled consistently over time.


When you make a commitment, whether it’s time, money, resources, or something else, you create the potential for follow-through. When you fulfill your commitment, you boost both your self-image and your influence with others. You earn others’ trust by being dependable and accountable.


You demonstrate integrity (and elicit trust) when you do what you say you will do. On the other hand, when you avoid making a commitment you tell yourself and others that your course of action will be unpredictable, influenced by circumstances, degree of difficulty, maybe even your mood of the moment. Is flexibility to be gained at the cost of trust, of the ability to influence? Nobody can answer that question but you.


*Photo credit to Gilly (Unsplash)