Our Focus on Commitment

23 Sep 2011 12:28 PM | Kathleen Loehr
As we mentioned last week (see previous blog), The Leadership Sanctuary is about creating breakthroughs in a leader’s resilience and creating the space to tap into your core leadership skills.

The biggest leadership breakthroughs start with a commitment to change within yourself. How often do we make commitments to ourselves, big and small?  Often! How often do we keep them? Far too rarely.  

It takes rigor and focus to deliver on any commitment, and the greatest rigor is needed for personal commitments. Somehow it is easier to deliver on a commitment to others—our Board chair, our staff, our funder, than ourselves.  

Successfully keeping our commitments does not come through our heads. A leader who is committed to empowering her team can read books on the subject, intellectually understand the material, and speak convincingly to others about empowered teams. Yet if her actions do not change, her team is still disempowered.  

To fulfill on a commitment we must intentionally set in motion new behaviors and organize ourselves to practice those new behaviors regularly until they become embodied – part of who we are even without thinking. That is why The Leadership Sanctuary starts you out immediately with a commitment when you sign up – you commit to the full year, showing up on time each month, not being allowed more than one absence in the year. Anything more and you are asked to leave the group.

To fulfill on this commitment, you organize your calendar to make the meetings.  You organize your day to leave on time. You consciously say NO to that one more phone call, or grant, or meeting, to spend this time with your group of peers. This is not easy – we know that. We hold you to it, however, because it is a practice to commit to yourself. To put yourself first for three hours every month, practice your leadership skills and build a peer community. To model to yourself, your peers, the volunteers and staff back at your organization the benefits of pausing to reflect, gain insights and clarity for the work ahead.

“You must become the change you seek” - M. K. Gandhi

Take a moment to consider the commitments you have made in your work. Have you articulated the new behaviors and practices you need that will allow you to achieve these commitments? Next week we’ll focus more on the importance of practice.
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