Step 6: Build Commitment

People always look at the leader when they want to take the pulse of an organization. Example says a lot. Do they see a boss they can believe in? Can they have faith in whom they follow? Does the fire inside the leader burn hot enough for them to warm from the heat of that flame? Commitment climbs when people see passion in the person in charge. They catch the feeling. Commitment, after all, is a highly contagious thing. It’s a spirit that stirs others, that touches their souls, that inspires them to action. It carries a mental magnetism that captures the attention and enlists the energies of all who watch. The more consuming your commitment, the more you draw your people toward you. And toward the task to be done. Your intensity—your focus, drive, and dedication—carries maximum influence over the level of commitment you can expect from others. Like it or not, you set the climate. People always take a reading on the person in charge. So when it comes to building commitment, you must lead by example, just as commanders must show courage if they want soldiers to show bravery on the battlefield.

If you provide lukewarm leadership, you’ll see the passion cool among your people. Commitment can’t survive when the leader doesn’t seem to care. So be obvious. Turn up the burner inside yourself. Let the heat of your commitment be strong enough to glow in the dark.

Tools and Articles:
The More Consuming Your Commitment, The More You Draw People Toward You

People always look at the leader when they want to take the pulse of an organization. Example says a lot. Do they see a boss they can believe in? Can they have faith in whom they follow? Does the fire inside the leader burn hot enough for them to warm from the heat of that flame?

Commitment climbs when people see passion in the person in charge. They catch the feeling. Commitment, after all, is a highly contagious thing. It’s a spirit that stirs others, that touches their souls, that...

Spend Freely With "Soft Currency"

Organizational change creates a climate of heightened concern. Even employees who personally benefit from the changes may be shaken by what they see happen to their comrades. Usually a pervasive sense of loss clouds the work environment. People feel more vulnerable. Even those who are initially unscathed remain uneasy about the eventual ramifications, and wait for the next shoe to fall.

You can safely assume that employees feel threatened . . . at risk . . . disempowered. These...

The Fire Inside

The innovations that are involved in achieving “faster-better-cheaper” come through people. Human beings serve as the most important hardware in the creative process. The most important software, however, is the programming found in people’s hearts and minds.

If we’re emotionally flat or intellectually uninspired, innovation keeps its distance. Failure prowls around the edges of our efforts. Success doesn’t like to show its face. Those things that do get accomplished carry the stamp...

The Magnetic Pull Of Momentum

Organizations instinctively slow down in response to change. Employees grow more committed to protecting themselves and less committed to protecting productivity and profitability.

Pretty soon results start to suffer. Then the problem begins to feed on itself.

Your job is to reverse the trend.

Speed things up. Focus your people on achieving hard results.

Momentum gives job commitment a second chance.

Build a dynamic sense of momentum in your organization,...

Commitment Usually Travels On A Two-Way Street

The trust level typically drops during change. People grow wary. More self-protective. They interpret unpopular events as solid evidence that the organization lacks commitment to employees.

And right or wrong, perceptions run the show.

This means you must provide generous proof to the contrary. Leave no doubt about your dedication to your people.

People won’t bust their tails for just anybody. They have to have their reasons—good ones, in fact, if they’re to attack their...

Commitment Is A Gift You Should Give Yourself

Expect your employer to expect more from you. The reason? The marketplace is demanding far more these days from the organization itself.

Clients and customers want much better quality than before. They expect top-notch service, too, or they’ll take their business to your competitors. Speed is also essential, because people have gotten used to instant everything. Frankly, the only way your organization can even hope to compete is to employ high-performance people.

In times past...

Because-Of-A-Cause (Provide A Strong Sense Of Purpose)

Take an hour or so and get out of your office. Go look at what your people are doing...day in, day out, year after repetitive year. What you’ll see are big people in little assignments—people grinding away at jobs that are far too small for their spirits.

So what happens? Their souls sleep on the job, drugged by the monotony or lack of meaning. Commitment doesn’t have a crying chance.

Give these same people a “cause,” though, and watch the place come alive. Folks who are fired...

Piece of Action

People put more of themselves into the job when it means they’re likely to get more out of the deal. Let them share in the outcomes, and see how their commitment changes.

Outcomes matter to us only when we have something at stake. The more we stand to . . .

Don't ask for blind loyalty from your workforce. We’ve all learned that the world puts hard limits on how loyal the organization can be in return.

But apart from that, right now you need a lot more than allegiance from employees. Loyalty can get lazy. Or be misdirected. Some of the so-called “loyalists” actually cause big problems, because they resist change and try to perpetuate an outdated culture that could kill the organization.

So what about high morale? Should that be...