In the game of life, I have never known anyone who achieved great success by simply being interested in what they do. The road to success is littered with people who are interested in achieving something, but it takes more than interest, or even passion, it takes commitment to be great at something.
This concept of interest vs. commitment is something I share with my sons regularly. At their ages, 13 and 11, this life lesson is easily illustrated through sports. My oldest son has played nearly every sport imaginable and has been interested in all of them. Guess whose time and money have been spent on his interests?
After many speeches about the difference between being interested and being committed, he now understands that I am not purchasing one more football, basketball, baseball or lacrosse stick if I don’t see a commitment to the sport. I now see him practicing a little more than he was just six months ago! He is starting to understand the difference and see the direct correlation between his commitment to practice and the newfound success in his athletic life.
This concept translates to all areas of life, especially business. As a CEO it is my responsibility to set expectations for our organization and show my commitment to those expectations. I suspect there isn’t a single employee at our organization who doubts my daily commitment to the company or to my own development and success. I expect the same from each employee who joins our organization.
When evaluating employees, you need to see commitment in their actions and not just hear a bunch of words about how great they want to be and what they want to accomplish. Talk doesn’t get the job done.
From a sales perspective, if you have a team of people who are interested in being successful or hitting their quota, trust that you will end up investing a lot of time and money for little return. If you invest in developing and helping committed individuals become great at their craft, you’ll surely see a positive yield from that investment.
Everyone has tough days, and there will be days when leaders in the organization will need to challenge personnel to be committed. How do you accomplish this? Find out what drives and motivates the team members, either personally or professionally. Ask them about their goals, what aspects of the job they like or find challenging, where they want to be professionally and even financially over a six to 18 month period.
Keep these conversations restricted to timeframes that are realistic. Talking to people about five years down the road is hard for them to get their head around, especially for young people who are accustomed to instant gratification. People want success now, and few are willing to be patient. However, if you can find those who are committed, you can help them build momentum and ultimately achieve great things for themselves, for you, and ultimately, for the organization.
Building a team or a company is no easy task, and if you don’t currently have committed individuals on your team, rethink your strategy and make the necessary changes. It really is that simple. To have a great organization or a great team, you need the buy-in and commitment of those on the team. Moreover, you as the leader must have an unwavering commitment to the success of yourself and those on your team.
Good leadership is invaluable to one’s career trajectory. Too often, people give half-hearted effort, leading to mediocre results. Success in anything is rarely accidental — ask any successful individual and I bet they would tell you there is no such thing as luck. Luck is created, and it starts and stops with commitment, not interest.
Commit to being successful or get ready to be passed by those who are.