Commitment is usually one of the things that successful teams attribute to their success. Lack of commitment is usually one of the things identified in teams that fail.
Convenient – This person will do the job when he or she feels good or feels like doing it. This person will often start toward a goal but quit if it gets too difficult. This person is comfortable contributing to an apathetic culture.
Compliant – This person will do the job if it is required to be part of the team. He or she will do what is asked and little more. Compliance is watered-down commitment and this person will be happy in a culture that is happy with being good (not great).
Conditional Commitment – This person is selfish and will do the job if it benefits his or her personal agenda. This person filters everything through what he or she is personally gaining and will be committed if everything goes his or her way (points, playing a certain position, playing time, goals). This person will be on board as long as things are going well and the team is winning and will demonstrate committed behaviors as long as it doesn’t get too difficult or he or she is expected to practice too hard. This individual will turn on the team when things get tough and cannot be counted. Do not sacrifice your team covenants for these selfish individuals regardless of how talented they are.
Committed – These individuals will do whatever is needed whenever it is needed. They live the team’s core covenants with a full heart. They don’t care if it requires extra effort, time, energy or personal sacrifice, they will pay the price. They don’t need to talk about it; you’ll be able to see it in their actions. They will not only do it, they’ll embrace it. They are compelled and focused. They go all out all the time. They are all in. They are committed. These people are the foundation on which great team cultures are built.
Commitment opens the door to reaching potential for individuals and teams. Full commitment reduces your options and keeps you on a consistent, predictable path. There will be tough times where commitment is the only thing carrying you forward. It provides the burning desire to keep focused on your core covenants and goals. Commitment allows people to do the tough jobs, to keep moving forward, to work long hours. It allows a team to persevere through difficult times with strength and resiliency.
It is essential in the best team cultures that leadership demonstrates full and unconditional commitment. Before people buy into the team culture they must buy into the leader(s). A leader’s commitment will be tested by actions, not talk. The people you want to follow you will hear what you say but they will believe what you do. True commitment demonstrated in a leader’s actions inspires and attracts people to a cause bigger than themselves. Strong leaders have a level of commitment that cannot be questioned.