• Tracie L James

Leaders & Commitment

The word “commitment” has been on my mind a lot lately. As friends celebrate wedding anniversaries and children graduating from high school or college, I’m reminded of what it takes to stay the course to accomplish your goals. It doesn’t matter if it’s personal or business... without a TRUE commitment to do the work it won’t happen.

Recently, I saw an interview with Queen Latifah and her level of commitment resonated with every response as she reflected on her career... the success she’s experienced has required commitment... from rap artist to Oscar nominated actress now producer.

What does it take to be committed? When you SAY you’re committed... are you really committed... do you know what it takes to be committed... do any of us really know?

Over the last few years, I’ve learned sooo much about being committed. When I stepped out to pursue my purpose, I committed to it without fully understanding what it was going to take. There have been many moments where it got hard and things weren’t going as planned... in these moments my commitment was tested. I learned that it wasn’t about what was happening but about how I reacted to what was happening.

In life and in business, things can and will go wrong. It’s a reality... we must decide how to respond BEFORE the challenge hits us in the face. Before you get married, plan how you and your spouse will handle conflict and issues... Before you step out to follow your dreams, decide how you’re going to handle the adversity and disappointment. As leaders, it’s your responsibility to count the cost so you can plot a course to success for your team.

You’re probably saying to yourself ‘how can I do this, when I have no idea what I’m going to face’... I challenge you by saying that you do know... it’s the fear and doubt in the back of your mind that you ignore. It doesn't matter what you are trying to accomplish in life, you have to be determined to commit and eliminate your reasons why it won't work. One thing I know to be true is that anything in life worth having requires a big commitment of time and focus.

Leaders must face those fears and doubts head on and decide to overcome them before the battle even begins claim victory. I challenge you to consider the fears and doubts of your team so you can plot a way to overcome them as well.

4 Key to Prepare You and Your Team

1. Acknowledge that what you’re stepping into won’t be easy but it will be worth it. Think about how great it will feel when you reach the goal that seems insurmountable now. Visualize what it will look like, sound like and feel like... help your team do the same.

2. Assess where you are and where you want to be so you can identify what you need to get there. If you have no idea what’s in between where you are and where you want to be, you won’t know what you need to accomplish it. Be honest and gather what your team needs - money, training, equipment, etc.

3. Accelerate your actions... get moving doing at least ONE thing each day to get closer to your team’s goal. Breaking down the goal into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily tasks will keep your team from feeling overwhelmed. Help them see how small things they do either help or hinder their success.

4. Advance your endurance by staying the course no matter the obstacle. There’s going to be problems, issues and situations that must be overcome. This is where the rubber meets the road... where commitment is really tested. Focus on the goal. Seek out the solution not excuses. Remember you’ve already overcome so much to become the leader you are. Don’t slow down now!!

My Encouragement for You

Commitment is more than a word... it’s your mindset, words and actions at play in the real world... it takes strategy to win consistently... remember your losses get you one step closer to your victory. Be a committed leader and never give up... remember my mantra “No matter what happens, just do it regardless - zero excuses allowed.”

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