Some Thoughts on the Ability to Commit and Its Value in Business
Recently I've been thinking about this topic and read an article praising the ability to commit over willpower, as a strategy to make an impactful change in your life. I figured that perhaps this has other benefits, ones that are more relevant to the business world.
The ability to commit is an expression of accountability and organization, particularly time management. It has to do with being able to reserve a time and a location for a meeting and actually show up for it, on time, or if this infeasible, reschedule it in a timely manner. This may sound obvious, but there are people out there who find this a daunting task!
Being able to commit is a sign of respect, among other things. By commiting to something you are basically saying to the people you commit to meeting that you value their time and are willing to invest an equal amount of time to meet with them. Even if it’s an “easy” meeting, like a tele-conference, you still need to make a sacrifice in order to attend that meeting. You could be doing other things at that time (such as reading articles on beBee, commenting on these articles, or even writing your own articles there!). Yet, you choose to meet up with these people instead. That’s a clear sign of respect and if these people have a similar attitude towards commitment, they are bound to see it this way too, respecting your choice.
Being able to commit is also a sign of self-discipline. It’s not easy to honor a commitment, especially today when there are a zillion different things busking for our attention. Not just things on the phone (which make up a sizeable chunk of these distractions), but also events, meetups, family members, etc. Being able to manage all that and commit to meeting up with someone, even for a short time, takes discipline, the kind of discipline that is quite rare nowadays, especially in places where people are all over the place!
Naturally, a business environment cannot function without a sense of commitment in its members. Showing up late in meetings (or worse, not showing up at all) is equivallent to wasting resources of the company (after all, time is a resource that is worth a lot of money for some people). Also, without the accountability that is behind the ability to commit, nothing gets done, or if it does, it gets down poorly. You can have the best ideas in the world and even be a very talented professional, but if you cannot commit to something, all that goes down the drain.
People nowadays praise talent and experience, especially when recruiting someone. However, they rarely look for things like being able to commit to something (be it a meeting or a project) and deliver. These things, although difficult to measure, may be the most important skills in a professional. After having wasted a lot of time with people who apparently have a very hard time commiting to things (e.g. mentees who are too flaky to have any consistency with our weekly sessions), I have put that as a requirement for collaborating with someone. Since I did that, things have started to flow much better and the work-related stress has diminished substantially. Also, I have more time to spend on SMM and write articles on beBee, so perhaps others benefit from all this.
How will you benefit by valuing the ability to commit more, be it in yourself or in the people you work with?
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