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The Power of Commitment

Joe Calloway, CSP

We all want to do better. Whether as individuals or as business organizations we all want to be the best that we can be and take our performance to the next level. We want to do more this year than last year, accomplish new goals, and reach our potential. Companies want to win in the marketplace and create success and prosperity for employees and shareholders. As individuals we strive to get in shape, get that promotion, or make that million dollars.

My observation is that most of us are actually pretty good at thoughtfully setting our goals, carefully planning our strategies, and enthusiastically announcing our ambitions to the world. We do everything that the motivational books and speakers tell us to do. We create clear and vivid visual images in our minds of what we want to accomplish. We break our goals down into step by step plans with accompanying deadlines to mark milestones on the path to accomplishment. We cover our walls with attitude boosting posters featuring glorious color photographs of eagles soaring above the clouds, snow topped mountain summits, and runners crossing the finish line first in sweat drenched celebrations. Affirmations are written and posted on the bathroom mirror to be read each day as we keep our attitudes positive and our enthusiasm high.

Entire companies go through much the same rituals of motivation. I myself have been witness to hundreds of company meetings and conventions in which it is declared that this year we will reach new levels of sales, higher profits, total customer satisfaction, increased market share, achieve distinction, excellence, quality, exceed our personal best or whatever the goal of the moment may happen to be. And, after three days of meetings, speeches, team-building exercises on the beach, breakout sessions on new products and systems, the awards dinner and dance with the fifties band, and the closing general session with the former professional athlete motivational speaker that builds to a motivational climax of a thunderous crescendo of wildly cheering employees as the sound system blares Tina Turner singing "Simply The Best" at warp volume….they go home.

And six months later, people stare into their affirmation covered bathroom mirrors and companies look at their less than hoped for numbers and they wonder what went wrong. The goal wasn't reached. The eagle didn't soar to the mountaintop. Some other company turned out to be simply the best. And what's often most deeply frustrating in these situations is that the failure to achieve goals happens to people who seemingly have everything going for them, and companies that have great people, sound strategies, and excellent products.

So what happened? What happened is that with all the best-laid plans and all the chest-thumping motivational cheerleading…they never took the critically important first step. They never decided to go.

But wait! Surely they decided to go! Why else would they have taken the time and trouble to put up the posters and play the Tina Turner song and have the meetings and tape all those affirmations to the bathroom mirror? Because they were willing to do the easy stuff. The hard stuff is reaching deep down inside and pulling out the guts of your soul and asking "Do I really want to do this?"

What is it that you want to accomplish? I confront companies every week with a simple question about their stated goals: "Do you really mean this?" When you say that your intention is to be the best in the business or to achieve true excellence or to take your business to the next level, are you dead serious or are you really just kidding around? Because most of the time there are some major ramifications involved if the answer is "yes, we're serious". And you and your company just may not be willing to do what it takes to go there. Which is fine. Just be clear on what you're committing or not committing to.

Joe Calloway, Professional Speaker, Building customer focused organizaions.
Joe Calloway
Some companies think that having a meeting with the theme "Taking It To The Next Level" means that they're actually doing it. No. Having a meeting means you're talking about doing it. And the first thing you should talk about is whether or not you truly want to go to the next level or double sales or whatever it is you're saying you want to do. You should look into each other's eyes and ask "Do we really want to do this? Really?"



Joe Calloway speaks on how great companies take performance to the next level and just keep getting better.  
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