For a number of years I have been concerned about this declining thing called “commitment”. To me it has been like peeling back the layers of an onion as it appears to become a smaller and smaller value in the list of virtues necessary to be an effective leader.
“The kind of commitment I find among the best performers across virtually every field is a single-minded passion for what they do, an unwavering desire for excellence in the way they think and the way they work. Genuine confidence is what launches you out of bed in the morning and through your day with a spring in your step”.
– Jim Collins –
Let’s face the facts…It is easier and easier to follow the ways of the world than it is to follow the convictions of our heart. Commitment and passion take a genuine conviction of the heart.
Let me begin by establishing three essential aspects of leadership that MUST have a deep seeded connection or leadership fails!
“The successful person makes a habit of doing what the failing person doesn’t like to do”.
– Thomas Edison –
The first aspect of sound leadership is knowledge. I think we all can agree that the best leaders are of great intellect. We can be the biggest readers of every book and publication encompassing all areas of leadership, but as for me, our heads were only designed to be the storehouse of knowledge. This means then there has to be a clear means of communication between the storehouse (the head) and the engine the (heart) that drives every leader.
The second aspect of leadership is the engine (the heart) that beats inside every person. In many cases today there seems to be a complete disconnect between the head and the heart. One could go on about countless cases about what we have learned (knowledge), and the lack of clear communications with heart (convictions), where choosing means and manner have turned to epic failures. Let’s admit it. There have been times that our hearts just haven’t been in a project even though we have has all the knowledge to meet the challenge and yet it didn’t turn out very well. Pondering what device or object could hinder communications between the head and the heart left me with one conclusion. Will power!
Will power is a phrase often used to explain a mystic source of rational energy that some people have, and others don’t. Rational energy would almost be a cousin to common sense. If we all used a bit more common sense, we could certainly be in tune with one of Thomas Edison’s quotes.
“Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Accordingly a genius is often merely a talented person who has done all of his or her homework”.
– Thomas Edison –
The third aspect that is as equally important is contentment. If we as leaders do not publicly display these three essential aspects then how then can we be effective in mentoring the next generation to be the next best generation of all time? Commitment and Contentment go hand and hand in leadership. It is here that the knowledge we have gained coupled with the compassion of the heart makes the successful enthusiastic leader the magnet to which the next generation will be drawn to for quality mentoring.
“When we cannot find contentment in ourselves it is useless to seek it elsewhere”.
– Francois de La Rochefoucauld –