It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that in an environment where there is a shared vision of excellence . . . where people can be the best they can be on a daily basis . . . where, when they know what is expected of them . . . understand that reward is linked to performance . . . and BELIEVE they can make a difference because they will be heard . . . they WILL make a difference. They will go BEYOND our expectations and great things will start to happen.
—FedEx founder, chairman, and CEO Frederick W. Smith1
Every major achievement in the history of humankind has been accompanied by one thing—significant, as in capital “C,” Commitment on the part of one or more people. Think about it: without real Commitment, Christopher Columbus would have waited for better maps before sailing off the edge of the known universe. Martin Luther King Jr. would not have marched in Selma, Alabama, and early NASA astronauts would have voted to send more monkeys up before strapping their butts to a relatively untested rocket.
Commitment starts with an extremely well-grasped destination or journey—a place, a concept, an overarching purpose. It answers questions such as: What are we here for? What’s our raison d’être? Where are we going?
Dr. King was attempting to take a people and a nation—indeed, the entire world—to a new and different place, where the color of one’s skin was no longer a boundary. Why does your organization exist? Where is it going? And ...