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  • Writer's pictureTony Richards

The Decommitted Leader

What makes people complacent and content with their current level of performance?

It could very well be a lack of commitment. A committed leader continues to increase their level of performance through commitment to demonstrated performance. They know there is no status quo, we are either getting better or our performance is getting worse. So, what causes a leader to de-commit to increasing their level of demonstrated performance?

There are many reasons, but here are two of them:

1. I’ve been a winner this way, so why change?

For many successful leaders, the past success is the way it’s going to be in the future. If it looks as if we need to make a change within ourselves and we start to feel that pain, the less we begin to try to control ourselves and the more we start to try to manipulate and control the situation to get to a place where we feel more comfortable, and the pain of growth and change begins to subside.

Think about it from this standpoint, when we were infants and we didn’t like the situation, we tried to manipulate it so that people would change the situation to our liking. Once we began to mature into adults, we learned we must change ourselves. Sometimes, when the pain of change and growth gets a bit much, we revert to our old tactics, because we think that’s the way we’ve won in the past, so we don’t want to depart from it. Logic is completely out the window now and emotions are ruling because our thinking becomes arrogant and our track record becomes inflated.

2. Fear of failing

When we become so afraid of failing, we decide not to try at all. We sabotage ourselves in a way in which we don’t have to try the new approach, but it still looks like we came out on top. When we allows fear to be the resistance we can not overcome, we limit ourselves on the opportunities to get to the next level of performance. Having a strong support system of peers, friends and a coach can help us overcome these fears.

Some of these struggle may be deep rooted and go way back. There may be many instances in which the leader tried something new and failed or perhaps looked silly which caused criticism or ridicule. No matter what is shown to the outside world, this embarrassment may be carried for a long time. So, avoidance is the strategy to never be placed in these situations again.

If commitment is lacking, it may be a very sure sign it’s time to move to something more challenging. If your performance is trending downward, that also may be a sure sign that commitment is lacking. You need to shake yourself up a bit. We will generally not be able to learn anything new or get out of our comfort zone without feeling or looking silly at least for a while.

As competency increases, this feeling subsides.

If you, as a leader are to discover your next level of performance, you must commit to doing even that which you do not wish to do. Leaders should commit to being all they can be without resting on past victories or accomplishments. Your level of commitment will always be tested. How do you pass these tests and show your team you have a new commitment to the next level of performance?

Some indications of your commitment may be:

  1. You publicly make a commitment of modification & change

  2. You declare you will not make excuses for marginal performance or non-execution

  3. You view new situations which challenge you to be a partner to bring out your best

  4. You are hungry for new challenges which require you to find new ways to improve yourself

  5. You are excited about putting forth extra effort when it is needed

  6. You begin to experience those lingering doubts fading away as you build new competencies

  7. Joy begins to be natural, energy is multiplied and fear of failure is becoming more uncommon

What can you add to my list?

Key Questions:

What do you need to commit to that will kick your performance up a notch?

What are you afraid of doing that you know deep inside would make a huge difference in your performance?

What is required in order to make the commitment to do it happen?

What can you add?

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