The Eagle Blog

Commitment

For some people a commitment is like a sacred trust … if they commit, then they will move heaven and earth to deliver. I LOVE those people.

For others a commitment is something that does not have such a strong connotation … maybe they will live up to their commitment and maybe they won’t. Those people … not so much love!

Here are some things to remember about commitments …

1. If you make a promise then generally people are counting on you to deliver.
2. If you deliver on your promise then you have built credibility.
3. You can build credibility by delivering even on small commitments … I will pick up coffee for you tomorrow morning! I will send you an email response, one way or another, by end of day tomorrow! I will show up to our son’s hockey practice! ALL easy to “deliver on” and ALL build credibility.
4. When you make a promise and just don’t deliver, then you lose credibility AND get labelled as someone who can’t be trusted.
5. It is possible to not deliver, for good reasons and mitigate the “fallout”. You try really hard to meet your commitment; you give fair warning that things might not work out; you are contrite. Then you might not get labelled as untrustworthy BUT you still lose credibility!
6. Remember that you can build credibility by making small commitments and delivering … so you can recover from #5, but you need to want to recover.

Commitment is a great way for sales people to build credibility with clients.

Commitment is a great way for people to build credibility with friends and colleagues.

Commitment is a great way for people to build a career.

None of this is rocket science … in fact it is very easy.

Having said that, so many people make commitments, don’t deliver … and seemingly don’t care. They are not nice people. They are not people that you want on your team. They are not people you want as friends.

Which type are you?


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10 thoughts on “Commitment

  1. Another great post.
    My favorite saying is from Henry Ford ~ "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do".

  2. Another great post.
    My favorite saying is from Henry Ford ~ "You can't build a reputation on what you are going to do".

  3. I would agree with your comments on committment, but I don't feel its as easy as you make out. Showing committment in the work arena is easy – its expected, and our ego usually ensures we honour those committments. The desire to validate our salary usually has some bearing on our honouring those committments too! But what about keeping commitments to those we walk with in our personal lives? How easy is it to remain committed to our partners when the first sparkle of attraction has dimmed, or when the going has got a bit tough.? How many 'bail' then, leaving others to pick up the pieces? What about our committment to family members when they become frail or infirm? I was horrified recently to read of so many elderly people left alone at Christmas. I think I respect more those who keep the faith with those in their personal lives.

  4. I would agree with your comments on committment, but I don't feel its as easy as you make out. Showing committment in the work arena is easy – its expected, and our ego usually ensures we honour those committments. The desire to validate our salary usually has some bearing on our honouring those committments too! But what about keeping commitments to those we walk with in our personal lives? How easy is it to remain committed to our partners when the first sparkle of attraction has dimmed, or when the going has got a bit tough.? How many 'bail' then, leaving others to pick up the pieces? What about our committment to family members when they become frail or infirm? I was horrified recently to read of so many elderly people left alone at Christmas. I think I respect more those who keep the faith with those in their personal lives.

  5. Interesting observations … there is absolutely a big difference between making a promise to "pick up the coffee" and making a lifelong commitment to be someone's partner.

    I think everyone fails in a commitment at various times … if a marriage fails is it one person at fault or two?

    I have been married twice … and have been with my current wife 22 years. Am I someone worth having as a friend?

    You are right in that it can be much more complicated. The intent of the blog post was to focus on how people who are in the habit of delivering on their promises can build credibility and those who are HABITUALLY not trustworthy lack credibility, as friends, colleagues AND suppliers.

    I can't begin to address the big societal issues of elderly people being left alone. Like you say my suggestion that its simple does not carry over into the "big personal issues".

  6. Interesting observations … there is absolutely a big difference between making a promise to "pick up the coffee" and making a lifelong commitment to be someone's partner.

    I think everyone fails in a commitment at various times … if a marriage fails is it one person at fault or two?

    I have been married twice … and have been with my current wife 22 years. Am I someone worth having as a friend?

    You are right in that it can be much more complicated. The intent of the blog post was to focus on how people who are in the habit of delivering on their promises can build credibility and those who are HABITUALLY not trustworthy lack credibility, as friends, colleagues AND suppliers.

    I can't begin to address the big societal issues of elderly people being left alone. Like you say my suggestion that its simple does not carry over into the "big personal issues".

  7. Don asked whether in my opinion this blog entry applies to organizations too?

    It certainly wasn't written with organizations in mind, but my inclination would be to say yes.

    We choose to work with, buy from or frequent businesses that give us what we want. If they are in the habit of not honouring their promises or commitments then we are unlikely to continue to work with them.

    Like individuals there will be occasions where things "go off the rails" etc. In those situations I would suggest that it is how the company reacts that will determine their level of credibility going forward.

  8. Don asked whether in my opinion this blog entry applies to organizations too?

    It certainly wasn't written with organizations in mind, but my inclination would be to say yes.

    We choose to work with, buy from or frequent businesses that give us what we want. If they are in the habit of not honouring their promises or commitments then we are unlikely to continue to work with them.

    Like individuals there will be occasions where things "go off the rails" etc. In those situations I would suggest that it is how the company reacts that will determine their level of credibility going forward.

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