Commitment - Follow Through to Achieve Your Goals

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Leaders are inevitably asked to take on tough challenges. Your willingness to make a commitment and keep it will prove your strength as a leader. And your ability to get the same kind of commitment from a group of people will make the difference between success and failure.

But three potential problem areas can make it hard to follow through on commitments.

#1 - Jumping in with both feet, without thinking things through.

Let's say someone on your team comes to you, excited about an idea she's come up with, and she's urging you to agree to make it happen. It's possible to want to be supportive and jump into something without fully understanding the resolve and dedication required to make it successful. You may not anticipate the rough spots. Or you may not analyze it carefully, leaving you and her with an unrealistic view of what to expect. If you agree on the spot and make a commitment to do what's she's asking, you could be setting up a situation that's doomed to fail.

#2 - Giving up too quickly when the going gets rough.

If you or your team members approach important choices with limited information and experience and then get started without realistic expectations for what will happen, you may be tempted to give up when you encounter initial difficulties or obstacles. As football coach Lou Holtz wisely observed, "If you do not make a total commitment to whatever you are doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking."

#3 - Having doubts about your decision.

Once you start moving forward, chances are that you'll have some doubts. That's because anytime you undertake a worthy goal, you're likely to encounter criticism and get questions from others. At such times, if you don't have a strong inner conviction and resolve, you may wonder if it's worth sticking with what you said you'd do.

The Solution

To avoid these issues, when you're considering one of your own ideas or a suggestion from someone else, get involved with your eyes open. Find out what the goal will require from you AND from your team. Gather the facts, data and other information to evaluate the opportunity rationally. Estimate what you may have to invest in time, effort, money and other resources along the way. Then decide if you want to make that kind of commitment.

If you take time to conduct a realistic assessment before you make a commitment, you're more likely to maneuver the rough spots and see it through to completion. With constant and consistent determination, you'll be a solid role model for your team and together you'll be able to achieve some amazing goals.

And to get more encouragements in your role as a leader, you can grab your free 88-page ebook, "Strong for Leadership." It's packed with insights and quotes about leadership to help you deal with the challenges you face every day. Get your free ebook at

Copyright Meredith Bell, M.A., Your Voice of Encouragement

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