Posts Tagged ‘cultivating teams’

Quintessential Leaders Follow Through on Their CommitmentsIt seems that it’s much easier for us to give easy and voluminous lip service to committing to do something than it is for us to actually take the actions and efforts to follow through on commitments we’ve made.

Part of the reason is that we don’t take our verbal commitments very seriously. They’re easy to say and take so little time and they temporarily pacify whomever we are talking to. But the reality is that there is no real intent to follow through behind them.

Another part of the reason is that we tend to over-commit, even though we can’t possibly follow through on everything we commit to, because we want to please people or we don’t want to disappoint them.

And still another part of the reason is that our tendency to commit to doing things that we end up not following through on is to make ourselves look good in the eyes of others as being generous benefactors.

No matter what the reasons are why we don’t follow through on the many commitments we make every day, the fact that we don’t follow through puts us on the path of unquintessential leadership.

Why?

  1. Important things don’t get done when we don’t follow through on our commitments.
  2. People – perhaps a lot of people – suffer, sometimes greatly and needlessly, because we don’t follow through on our commitments.
  3. We model a poor example for all our life teams – which they will emulate, perpetuating the path of unquintessential leadership into the future – when we don’t follow through on our commitments.

Following Through on Commitments Distinguishes Quintessential Leaders From Everyone ElseBecause quintessential leaders strive to follow through on their commitments, it’s important to go behind the scenes to examine how they do it (what this looks like) in a world where the majority of people, including those in leadership positions, fail to follow through on their commitments.

Quintessential leaders follow through on their commitments by:

  1. Thinking carefully about what they commit themselves to do;
  2. Ensuring that they have all the resources they need to fulfill their commitments;
  3. Being selective about what they commit to (because their integrity and their examples to their life teams are always in focus, they are careful to preserve both all the time);
  4. Refusing to over-commit;
  5. Refusing to commit to things they don’t have the time, the ability, the authority, and the resources to fulfill;
  6. Ensuring active, prompt, and complete fulfillment of the commitments they actually make (this means being involved, following up, and staying active in the process until the commitment they’ve made is completed).

Quintessential leaders value quality over quantity. They also value substantive action over superfluous talk.

That is why quintessential leaders carefully choose – and have no problem saying “No” to things and people – what they commit themselves to and follow through with.

Quintessential leaders are also people who do the right things for the right reasons, striving for anonymity and being completely under the radar.

Unlike the many people who say they’ll do something so that they’ll look good to other people, yet they fail to follow through at all, quintessential leaders always ensure that their left hands don’t know what their right hands are doing.

As we look at our own leadership lives – wherever we are in life, we lead at least one team and our lives are living examples to everyone around us to either reject or emulate – we must ask ourselves about our commitments and our follow through.

  1. Do we make commitments and then fail to follow through?
  2. Do we give lip service to commitments, with no intent of doing anything?
  3. Do we over-commit?
  4. Do we make commitments just to look good to other people?
  5. What example are we setting personally with the commitments we make and our follow through on those commitments?

How are we doing?

mark-zuckerberg-facebookOverwhelmingly today, in most organizations, all the focus, all the recognition, all the accolades go to one person or a few people within the organizations who have become the face or faces of the organization. This superstar limelight is generated internally and promoted externally, but it is a troubling sign of unquintessential leadership.

steve-jobs-appleA few examples are names that we probably know better than the names of some of our neighbors, some of our colleagues, and some of our more distant relatives: Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever heard any of these people give credit to and recognize the teams behind their organizations’ successes? (more…)