Lessons in Leadership: Mutual Commitments

Lessons in Leadership: Mutual Commitments

Coaching is the ability to consistently demonstrate leadership competencies that accelerate individual and team development. Mutual Commitments are a powerful developmental tool. As a sales coach or manager, you can use mutual commitments to develop employee focus and commitment.

This Lesson in Leadership demonstrates how to use Mutual Commitments to help your team members focus their attention and efforts on continuous self-improvement.

It has been said, “As much as some things change, other things stay the same.” Here is a concept that has remained true over time:

The most important stride toward success is a commitment to personal excellence.

Any person who wishes to achieve more than they already have must consider devoting a certain amount of time to introspection and self-improvement. Introspection is the most powerful, positive and personal development tool we possess as human beings and yet, we sometimes don’t use it when we could or should. Why? It could be we’re concerned about what we might see if we look too closely at the man or woman in the mirror. It could also be we’re so very busy running to and from the next activity or task in our attempt to tread water in the waves of ever-increasing expectations.

The fact remains: if we are ever going to achieve the potential of our talent and capability then we must also yearn for improvement.


“Lord, grant that I might always desire more than I can accomplish.” –Michelangelo

Most people of great accomplishment have possessed an almost overwhelming desire to improve. We’re not suggesting you must envision a lifelong relationship with your current company. Obviously, whether you choose to stay or leave is up to you. But, as long as we’re all here, and our dream attainment is closely tied to the ability to work and fund our future, we believe there is tremendous merit in striving to become our very best at what we do.

When managers and employees make a mutual commitment to work together, everyone’s focus and success will improve.

“A man can alter his life by altering his thinking.” – William James

In The Greatest Gift we discussed the 4 self-improvement steps. Here are 3 mindsets that can also help you on your road to self-improvement.

1. Improvement success always begins with a productive attitude.

Notice we didn’t say improvement success always begins with a “positive” attitude. Two primary catalysts, pain and gain, motivate people. Sometimes things go our way. Sometimes things don’t. The trick is to remain aware of the controls and influences in our lives so we can determine which might be our most productive attitude. We should employ the attitude that helps us to be most productive in our current situation. As an example, several customer complaints about the same issue might be an indication a company should consider some sort of change. Sure, handling a customer issue can cause momentary discomfort and negative feelings. But if the situation hadn’t come to light neither you nor the company would have recognized the need to change until it was possibly too late to make a positive difference. We must engage both challenge and opportunity as the motivators for improvement.

2. Stretch what you believe are your limits.

The Japanese Carp which is popularly known as a Koi is a colorful fish often found in swirling pools in Japanese gardens and restaurants. The amazing thing about these Koi is if you were to take one after birth and keep it for its whole life in a small fish bowl, it would never grow any bigger than a large goldfish. Yet, if you put it in a larger pond it will grow between ten and eighteen inches. If you release it into a lake, this miraculous creature will grow to more than three feet in length.

The same is true for people. If we create for ourselves glass ceilings, we will most likely never grow beyond our pre-determined abilities. If we aren’t careful, our potential growth can be stunted by our self-imposed limits. We must think big and stretch our limits to create the opportunities of which we are personally capable.

3. Be willing to take some course of action!

Many people momentarily envision what their life might be like if they would simply do something differently. Still, a large number of people succumb to their self-imposed realities of fear, anxiety, or a simple lack of confidence. What they don’t seem to understand is if they would simply start moving forward and continue to move forward even a little every day, eventually they would most likely overcome these negative thoughts and boundaries.

Henry David Thoreau said, “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dream and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”

After you determine your need for improvement in anything, you must take some productive steps in the appropriate direction. The more you move, the more likely you will achieve. The more you achieve, the more you believe you are capable of even greater things! Making a mutual commitment with management can help you accomplish even more.

We must choose the challenges of achievement or the challenges of getting by.

Life is challenge. Either you choose the challenges of achievement and motivate yourself toward continuous improvement, or you choose the challenges of getting by. If you choose the challenges of getting by, you’ll most likely find yourself dealing with the same issues today you dealt with yesterday as well as the even greater issues of a depreciating lifestyle. Logically the decision to not improve may not make sense, and still, we all know employees who do seem to choose the hardships of just getting by.

You may be somewhat comfortable with the way you are now and you may be willing to deal with repetitive issues or struggles on the job. You may prefer the pain you DO know, (reoccurring problems), to the pain you DON’T know, (the cost of improvement). Beginning a journey to improvement may cause uncertainty about the changes or challenges that might be around the next corner because you’ve never been down that particular road before. To complicate matters even more, you may also become very comfortable with your current condition. Even though you know some improvement would be useful, you might even find yourself saying, “Well, that’s just the way things are!” As your managers, we’d like to politely dispute that idea. We believe that things are the way they are until someone or something changes! We have great confidence in your potential. We believe that together we can make things better for you on the job. We believe you have the ability to improve your situation on the job and in your life. We hope you’ll choose the challenges of achievement. We hope you’ll choose improvement!

By helping others, we help ourselves.

By either choice or default all employees are responsible for and have influence with each other. If you never attempt to improve at work it can impact the co-workers you may interact with during the day. On the other hand, if you focus on your continuous improvement you will also have some level of positive influence on other employees in the environment.

Managers can also be either positive or negative influences. A manager who doesn’t care about his or her employees will simply allow them to make it or not on their own. But a manager who does care about the people in their charge will do everything in his or her power to instill in the employees a desire for improvement. We promise to be a caring, helpful manager and to provide the guidance you need to succeed.

By helping you we also help ourselves. Please allow us the opportunity to show you how much faith we have in you and how committed we are to your success.

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