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Interchange - June 2024

In this week’s convening of The Interchange, we'll focus on chapter 6 of our book COMMITMENT. It's only 8 pages long so we suggest you make a few minutes, it's worth the read.

Years ago, a client referred to our work as helping them shift from a culture of compliance to a culture of commitment. This may be the simplest expression of true leadership and the foundation of employee engagement, including yours and mine. When we talk about this with leaders, we find that frequently they talk about recruiting and selecting people who are committed. It’s as if commitment is something that we're born with… that's fixed and it reflects a fixed mindset on our part.

We believe that your job as a leader is to inspire, spark, evoke, and foster commitment to the higher purpose that drives your organization in all your people. This is true leadership.

This shift from compliance to personal commitment requires that we see our job not as managing people into doing what we want them to do, which is the default setting for most of us, but instead as fostering commitment, fostering engagement in the higher purpose of our organization.


The power of commitment is captured best, I think in the following quote from the 18th century writer Goethe:


"Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness."


Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans:


That the moment one definitely commits oneself then Providence moves too.


All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.


A whole stream of events issues from the decision raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.


Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.


Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.


Begin it now.




The etymology of the word commitment comes from Latin and is a synonym of engagement.  Therefore if you're looking to drive employee engagement the only genuine way to do it is to evoke personal commitment from each member of your team.

The most effective way to evoke commitment from people is to continuously be speaking your commitment, personally!  Just as Martin Luther King's constant speaking of his commitment changed our society, so your speaking can change your organization, your community, your world … which brings us to our discussion points:

  1. What is the vision that drives you?  You may think of it as your personal purpose, or your personal mission, but whatever you call it, what is it?  Let’s share with one another and exercise our inspiration muscle.

  2. What stops you from sharing this commitment with others?

  3. What practices or habits do you engage in, or could you engage in, to foster commitment in your people?

We look forward to seeing you, and enjoying an inspiring morning!

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