Compliance is not Commitment

No one has every done anything that they didn’t want to do!

Almost everyone would disagree with that statement and everyone who disagrees would be wrong. Almost everyone would say they have been made to do something they didn’t want to do. It could have been by their parents, their boss, maybe a spouse (I hope not a spouse) maybe a friend or co-worker. But the fact is they didn’t really make you do something that you didn’t want to do. 

They found a way to make you want to do it.

They provided you with a choice. Either do this or something bad will happen to you. They made the “something bad” worse than the thing you would have preferred not to do. You considered your options and decided to do the thing you would have preferred not to instead of receiving the “something bad” as an alternative. 

You wouldn’t have normally “wanted” to do the thing you did but it was better than the “something bad” that was the alternative. 

That’s how compliance works. 

Limited leaders think that forcing their people to comply by using the “something bad” alternative makes them a leader. They are dead wrong!

Compliance can appear to work in the short term and it kind of does. A limited leader can have some short-term success by forcing a reasonable level of performance out of their people. But from the very beginning a compliance based leader erodes the trust and morale of their people. Compliance based leaders will always, always have “people issues” because people just aren’t made to be compliant. 

The people issues will look like attitude problems, attendance or tardiness problems, productivity problems, and general engagement issues.

When I see those issues and problems happen with more than a small percentage of an organization’s people it is unlikely that the organization has hired a bunch of malcontents, it is far more likely they are trying to force a bunch of good people to comply.

That’s a leadership issue. 

Authentic Servant Leaders do not need the compliance of their people because they have earned their commitment.  

Authentic Servant Leaders understand that earning the commitment of their people is a whole lot of work but they also understand that the payback can be huge. Most of their “people issues” disappear. While compliant people will eventually, kind of, sort of, get the job done a committed person will get the job done better and faster. The enthusiasm of committed people extends beyond an organization’s walls, infecting customers and other stakeholders with a sense of being part of something worthwhile. 

Committed people will outperform compliant people in virtually every way and in virtually every circumstance. 

If you’re going to excel as a leader you must absolutely understand that compliance is not the same as commitment. If you’re struggling with consistent people issues it is very likely that you are trying to lead by compliance. That just doesn’t work long-term, it never has and I find it hard to believe that it ever will.

So you’ll need to change your leadership style to earn the commitment of your people. Remember, you’re the LEADER, if you aren’t committed to change first then don’t expect any changes from your people.

Where Success Comes From – Part Two

Very successful people are not necessary different than less successful people, they just do different things.

Success comes from doing. 

I could just leave it at that and this post, while very short, would still be pretty good. But it’s really not as simple as just doing something to succeed. In order to succeed you must do the right somethings and you need to do them at the right time. 

Doing something may make you busy but being busy doesn’t make you successful. Doing the right something makes you productive and being productive is very likely to lead to success.

So what are those right “somethings” that successful people do? I shared 6 of these “somethings” in part one of this post, the final six are highlighted now in part two. I found the graphic that accompanies these two posts online and I’d give credit to the person who created it but I still have no idea where it originated. While I didn’t create it and despite a few grammatical errors, I think the 12 “somethings” are absolutely spot on. 

So here are the 6 more “somethings” that successful people do…

Successful people keep life simple. They seldom make anything harder than it needs to be. When communicating they don’t count their words, they weigh them. If four words will convey their message then they don’t say five. If a goal can be reached in 7 steps their plan won’t have eight. They don’t worry about things that happened in the past and they don’t borrow worry from things that might not ever happen. They have a strong focus on what they are doing right now.

Successful people focus on continuous improvement. Instead of looking for a way to improve something 100% they look for ways to improve 100 things 1%. They make those improvements every single day and they are never satisfied with “good enough.”

Successful people know how they are doing. They track and measure their progress, usually on a daily basis. They know which actions produce the greatest results and they know which activities cause waste. They know when they are getting better and they know almost the very moment they fall into a rut. They use their goals to get themselves back on track towards success.

Successful people know that their attitude is their choice. They also know that every area of their life is easier if the CHOOSE a positive attitude. Successful people do get down, they just pull themselves back up more quickly than less successful people. They accept their mistakes as an opportunity to learn and then they move forward. 

Successful people invest their time with people who can help them succeed. They stay away from the nattering nabobs of negativism. The most successful people have a mentor or a coach who cares about them enough to be honest with them about their performance in all areas of their life. Successful people embrace people with opinions that are different than their own because they understand that they can’t learn as much from people who already think just like they do. 

Successful people have balance in their lives. They understand that sacrificing their personal life for business success is something less than full success. They understand that when success comes at the expense of other people it is success that is probably not worth having. They also know that the best way to increase their success is to share it with others. Truly successful people are successful in all areas of their life. 

If you’re like me you’ve likely seen at least one of the twelve “somethings” that you need to work on. I hope you do because success for you is unlikely unless YOU make it happen!