Self-Interest to Shared Commitment

Before there can be accountability, there must be commitment.

Commitment is taking ownership of a challenge, being responsible for resolving it, in alignment with your company’s goals and values.  It reflects an obligation, by leader and team, to improve something that makes a difference.  And because it requires the assumption of risk, commitment is much more than consensus.

Commitment requires that your team grasps why a goal, strategy or action is necessary, and is willing to evaluate alternatives and discover the best way forward, even when this may challenge the self-interest of one or more members.  Facilitating the transformation of self-interest into shared team interest is an essential element of achieving commitment, and a fundamental responsibility of leadership. 

This transformation is enabled by providing team members with the opportunity to contribute their opinions and ideas during the discussion of alternatives.  Exploring the options together is a learning process, for the leader and the team, as the pros, cons, and motivations behind proposed options are revealed, enabling the one offering the highest probability of success to become clear for the team. 

It’s a dialogue that conveys the leader’s respect for the team members, and affirms the value of their work.  As a result, the threat to self-interest is reduced, replaced by a sense of appreciation, confidence, and teamwork that motivates the team to share their commitment, and their accountability.

How are you securing shared commitment from your team?

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