What does commitment mean to you?
Wedding vows? A regular gym schedule? Fulfilling your promises to take your children to Disneyland?
“Commitment” in a work context sounds high-falutin’, but it is actually very simple: it is your determination to get the job done.
Otherwise known as being good at “delivery”.
The workplace does need people who are good at high-level, creative and strategic thinking.
And it needs people who are good at crunching the numbers, and measuring the impact.
But what it needs, more than anything else, is the people who can get stuff done.
Without them, the strategic thinking is never actioned; and there is no impact to be measured.
You can specialise in “delivery” - but it should be a skill that everyone cultivates, no matter their main work focus.
Ultimately it’s what drives change, progress, and results.
They are always what really matter.
And delivery comes from you being fully committed to achieving what you set out to achieve, and taking personal responsibility for it.
Not just being involved in the process…
This is illustrated by an old story about the chicken and the pig.
They both lived together happily on a farm, very well looked after by their kindly farmer.
One day, they got chatting about what they could do to say thank you to the farmer for his kind care and attention.
“We could buy him something?” suggested the chicken.
“No, we haven’t any money,” replied the pig. “We could write him a thank you letter?”
“No," said the chicken, "that won't work: we can’t write.”
The chicken thought for a while, then turned to the pig and said, “I know what he loves more than anything! A good breakfast.”
The pig replied, “great idea! What shall we make him?”
And the chicken said, “What about bacon and eggs? I could provide the eggs, and you could provide the bacon”.
But the pig said, “no thanks - you’d only be involved, but I’d be COMMITTED”.
This story illustrates the difference between commitment and involvement so well that it has been used for years in Agile IT Project Management, and in the sports world.
Which are you at work: the chicken, or the pig?
p.s. if you want any advice on how to be more committed to your career, get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.