Five Stages of Leadership: Committed

The more you connect the more you commit. When a leader begins to commit to a mission or challenge they begin to open up a whole new level of passion. That passion is first seen through the expression of loyalty.

Loyalty is a powerful asset. It offers patience and forgiveness when things don't go your way. It has the ability to give the benefit of the doubt when it’s needed. Loyalty says: “I’m here to stay.”



A close friend of mine is in the medical device space. Many years ago his company sought out to improve the lives of those affected by diabetes. By implanting a device inside the body, folks would no longer have to prick their fingers to check their levels nor would they have to take daily shots. This will truly improve and revolutionize the space. Fast forward thirteen years, 40 million dollars of investor money and 4 CEO’s, the product is still not to market. My friend has a small piece of ownership (not enough to write home about) but for thirteen years been paid under market value. In no attempt to be rude I asked him, why are you still with the company? For 13 years you’ve been underpaid, you guys have worked through 40 million dollars and still not gotten to market? He exclaimed: “I just want to see how the story ends!”

Loyalty has bought into the story! It’s not about one person, it’s about being committed to the greater narrative. This is the mindset of a committed leader. They have found the ability to overcome their self interest to elevate the greater mission. The loyal committed leader is always winning. On one hand, they are fulfilled in the mission. On the other, they offer their best to all those around them.

Committed leaders are also dedicated.

You’ve heard people say, “I have multiple commitments or interests.” This is fine when we are talking about hobbies or fashion statements but when we are talking about leadership this mindset can cause blind spots. Committed leaders are dedicated leaders. This means, plain and simple, they are “exclusively allocated.” I love this definition, it’s spot on. When you are dedicated, you are not allocating your time to multiple interests. You are committed to the opportunity in front of you with an exclusive focus and passion.

Starting companies from the ground up is tough stuff. It’s not only a challenge to the founder, it’s also a huge challenge to the employees helping to lift the vision. I’ve had the good fortune of having amazing people serve alongside me. I’ve also had folks work with me that were not exclusively allocated. I recall one night when a new client emailed me saying they had been having a hard time connecting with their account manager in the evenings. I sent a text to the manager asking what the problem was. I was informed his nights are reserved for “gigging” in hopes to accomplish his goal of being a music star.

The truth is, he’s right. I didn't pay him over time nor was working nights a prerequisite for the job. When he clocked out, he clocked into his other commitments. When you are a committed leader you make the choice that the vision or mission you serve has your affection and attention. While you are not a slave to it, you are committed to it and willing to make sacrifices in order to see the vision realized.

Committed leaders are accountable.   

Some people love accountability, some people hate it. Generally speaking–I’ve found that committed leaders love it. They love it because they know they aren't going anywhere nor is their attention divided. They are ready for clear goals and growth opportunities. They don’t fear accountability because they see it as something positive. When a committed leader hears “accountability,” they also hear “responsibility” and even “opportunity.” Committed leaders want more not less. They want accountability.

There is a young lady that works for me who struggles from allergies. Several days a month she is struck by migraines to the point that she can't get out of bed. When it first began to happen, to be honest I was concerned that she wouldn't be able to keep up with her work. However, every time she’s had to leave due to a migraine, the next day she shows up to work an hour early and stays several hours after. She could point to the migraines or take sick days but she doesn't. Why? Because she is accountable. She made a commitment to our team and she has committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure success.

Committed leaders don't find excuses, they find solutions. They are not afraid of obstacles because they see them as opportunities to demonstrate their ability.