How do you feel when people don’t follow through on their commitments they have made to you? Keeping commitments, or not, has a major impact on your personal character.
“Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without strategy.” – Norman Schwarzkopf
I have seen leaders totally lose their team’s trust due to not following through on their commitments to uphold their scheduled 1×1 Meetings. I have seen similar results from leaders not taking the time to “walk the floor” and interact with people after they had declared that a priority.
Keeping commitments is not about will power. Instead it is about developing a process to ensure delivery on commitments.
I have found the following to be effective components of a process for consistently delivering on your commitments:
- Make commitments that are in alignment with your Purpose, Vision, and Values. Doing so will insure that you are passionate about the commitment and have a true internal desire to deliver.
- Only make commitments that you can deliver on. Don’t set yourself up for failure from the start. Be reasonable with yourself on what is humanly possible given your schedule, capacity and competence. Learning to say “No” when appropriate is a necessary part of the process of keeping commitments.
- Document your commitments to writing. Capture the commitment, who you committed it to, when you made the commitment, and when it is due. Capturing your commitments, and tracking their progress in written form will insure you stay abreast of what you need to accomplish on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.
- Verbally share your commitments with an accountability partner. Asking someone to come alongside you and hold you accountable for delivering on a commitment will enhance your odds of delivery. It also illustrates your vulnerability and need for help which is an outstanding model of a servant leader.
- Put your commitments into your calendar. If you are like me, you are very dependent on your calendar. Putting commitments into your calendar will discourage you from scheduling things that would prohibit you from delivering on your commitments. A few years ago I made a commitment to my wife to sit down with her daily after our workday and connect on how our day went. It is in my calendar everyday at 5:00 p.m. as “Kim Time”.
- Know who depends on you and why it is important. When you have intimate knowledge on who is depending on you to deliver, and what difference successful completion of the commitment will have, it will provide extra passion for completion. You don’t want to let people, or the successful completion of the purpose and vision down.
Keeping commitments will help build your personal character. What is your process to ensure performance in this area of your leadership?
I will not violate my covenant or alter what my lips have uttered. Psalm 89:34