Commitment: The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.
“Be Like Mike”. Do you remember those commercials from the 1990s? Many in the NBA have come and gone since the days of Michael Jordan, who was arguably the best basketball play in the history of the game. What did it take for Michael Jordan to be on top, to be the idle of anyone who played basketball? It was far more than talent alone. It was an all-consuming commitment to every aspect and every detail of the game.
Another “Mike” who had a complete commitment to his craft was Michelangelo. He was an amazing and gifted sculptor, who was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II with the purpose of sculpting a glorious papal tomb. Upon arriving in Rome, he was asked to paint the image of the 12 Disciples on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. When all was completed, Michelangelo had spent 4 years creating one of the most influential works of art the history of Western Civilization. This one piece of art took 4 years of grueling work while lying on his back.
I am not suggesting that this is the level of commitment that every leader should possess. Ask yourself, how well you are living out your commitment to those you lead. The committed artist is patient and gives great attention to detail, the athlete masters basics in their sport and never backs down from competition, the soldier risks life and limb for those they love. A leader needs to be willing to commit to all of these and more, as others are depending upon you.
David McNally (https://www.davidmcnally.com/) tells his readers, “Commitment is the enemy of resistance, for it is the serious promise to press-on, to get up, no matter how many times you get knocked down.”. Stephen Pressfield (https://stevenpressfield.com/) in the War of Art, walks his reader through all the tools that “resistance” puts in our way as we pursue greatness, and how to overcome resistance.
I need to ask myself, “How committed am I to leading those for whom I am responsible?” Here are some ideas to help in considering one’s level of commitment:
Look at your calendar and ask, “How much time am I spending in service to others, focusing on family, staying healthy (mentally and physically), honing your craft, and learning new things?
Consider what there is in your life that you would not be able to stop doing, no matter what the consequences?
Make a public proclamation, declaring what you are committed to complete, and see how that will make you more likely to follow through.
As a final thought, Arthur Gordon proclaimed, “Nothing is easier than saying words. Nothing is harder than living them, day after day. What you promise today must be renewed and redecided tomorrow and each day that stretches out before you. (http://www.azquotes.com/quote/1263020)” As a leader, do not seek perfection, seek excellence…seek to keep your word…seek to mean what you say and say what you mean…do what you said you would do.
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