Commit to Commit

“Do you commit to commit? Do you commit to getting it done?”

I didn’t understand the COO’s question. I just told him I would get his request completed. Sure, I had a lot going on, but could try to squeeze this in.

Seeing a perplexed look on my face, the COO made it clear. “Jason, when you say you commit to doing something, you commit to getting it done. You commit to commit. You’re now accountable for its completion. If you don’t have time to do it, tell me now. I won’t be upset if you can’t commit. I want honesty here.”

I didn’t want to disappoint this person. But, I also had a huge project for our client wrapping up, plus I was working on my masters degree. Add in family commitments and my time was a limited commodity. I knew I could complete his request, but I didn’t know by when and how good it would be.

“To be honest, I can’t commit right now.” Those words didn’t come easy, but the COO said he understood, thanked me for my honesty and had someone else take over. He never held it against me and for that, I was thankful.

Commit to commit. Defined, “commit” means to pledge or bind to a certain course or policy. Easy in theory, hard in practice. Let’s break this down a little bit more.

To pledge or bind. In the simplest terms, this means you solemnly promise to do something. Maybe you committed to doing a project for your boss. Maybe you committed your company to something in your community. Maybe you committed to taking your kids out to breakfast. Whatever it is, you promised something.

Certain course or policy. This is your plan of action to get things done! You know what you’ve promised, now it’s time to deliver. Plan out your course of action and get after it. Finish that project for your boss. Gather a team to help your community. Plan a morning and take your kids out for pancakes. Deliver.

When you commit do doing something, whatever it is, you commit to getting it done. You commit to commit. You own it! Failure to do so can result in people not trusting you and diminishes your status as an effective leader.

When you commit to something, do you Commit to Commit? Do you promise to do something then put a plan together and deliver? Next time you say “I promise”, remember, you commit to commit!

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