Look closely at the failure of a business, a strategy, an initiative, or even a project and you'll probably see a string of broken promises and unfulfilled expectations. There can be many reasons behind these failures, but as often as not it's because those involved are interested in – but not necessarily committed to – a particular outcome.
Wanting to make something happen is different from being committed to making it happen. Too frequently, the people who are instrumental in achieving a successful outcome lack fluency in the language of commitment; they are not powerful communicators. They see commitment as nothing more than a strong interest.
Commitment requires eliminating other possible alternatives while concentrating on one well-defined, methodically communicated set of objectives. Commitment creates a single-mindedness of purpose, a sharpened focus, and an enhanced ability to identify opportunities.
Being a powerful communicator is critical to personal and professional success. It begins with learning to speak the language of commitment, and then continuously practicing it.
Commitment requires pursuit of a clear path toward a desired destination. Too many people undertake an undefined pathway toward an undetermined destination because they are unable to declare a future. However, the ability to thrive personally and professionally is closely tied to a stated vision for a desired set of outcomes. As Yogi Berra once said: “If you don't know where you are going, you'll end up someplace else.”
Having a clear destination and making powerful declarations about how to reach it allows you to both envision and create a future. The spoken word carries great power. Social scientists say verbal declarations provide much of the stimulus we need to take action and change behavior. But, for your words to hold true power, they must not only include a commitment, but a time element. You might be interested in running a marathon, but that does not mean you're committed to doing so. Saying you're going to run a marathon next year is an action inducing declaration.
Committed people use verbs such as “will” to declare their intentions. “I will increase sales by 20 percent” merely suggests that it's something you're interested in doing. “I will increase sales by 20 percent in the next 18 months” is the commitment that spurs you into action and requires you to figure out how to make it happen.
Becoming fluent in the language of commitment helps you become a powerful communicator with a clear concept of what you champion. You are then able to declare a future around that concept. This, then, becomes the objective you will achieve.