COMPONENTS OF COMMITMENT
In the previous chapter, the pig becomes the symbol of commitment. In this chapter, I want to connect to the pig once again. The meat of the pig is pork. The components, then of commitment is in the acronym P-O-R-K.
A commitment is a solemn promise, an oath that no one should break. If you are to make a promise, you must not break it. Sadly, a lot of politicians make some promises during election but once they got the position, they just forget their promises. A promise is supposed to be holy. It is a promise not only to your team and to yourself, but also to God!
So, if you are not sure to fulfill your promise, because of whatever excuses, then it is best that you avoid making promises.
As a leader, you have moral obligations. It has no expiration date. Even if your term ends, you still have many obligations to fulfill. Your number one obligation is to spread positive change in your team, the society and the world.
A. HONEST BUT WITH INTEGRITY
They say, honesty is the best policy. I say, it depends!I agree that we have to be honest at all times but we also have to be sensitive of the feelings of other people. People are humans with emotions. No matter how civilized they seem to appear, they still have that sense of softness in them.
As a student you were given a school project that requires 50 dollars. Instead of asking only 50 dollars from your parents, you asked them 100 dollars. Obviously, you are being dishonest by not telling the truth. This is where the principle “Honesty is the Best Policy” is applicable.
Another example is what if one morning you told your friend “you’re so ugly today!” Yes, you were just probably being honest. However, it doesn’t mean you have to be insensitive. That kind of harsh comment is worse than slapping them hard on the face. What if he/she just had a bad day? Proper choice of words is important in this situation. Perhaps you could tell your friend, “You can borrow my comb and mirror, if you like?” This way, it appears more like a suggestion. It is encouraging because you pointed out what could be done, rather than by commenting on what is wrong.
That is what I meant by honesty with integrity.
You have to be true to yourself! Each one of us is unique. You have mixed of characteristics that others don’t have, and vice versa. So, you have to know yourself. You should listen to that little voice inside your head.
One day, I asked my little brother what he wanted to take in college. He said he wanted to take an Engineering course, like mine.
“Are you sure?” I said. “How are your grades in Math and Physics?” He just smiled in silence. I looked at his card and I knew why he just smiled without telling a word.
He wanted to take a course, the same as mine because that was what father had told him.
I told him to listen to himself on what he really wanted to be. He should listen to himself and not anyone, not even our father.
As a leader, you will be bombarded with so many suggestions, both good and bad. “What you’re doing is wrong! Do this, instead of that! Do that, instead of this!” Before you say yes or no, ask yourself, “what do I really want?”
C. INTELLIGENT BUT HUMBLE
Being intelligent is not just about getting good grades in school. There are so many forms of intelligence. I also want to stress out that despite being smart and intelligent, you still have to be humble. Just because you’re smart doesn’t mean you know everything. There is always something that you need to learn. And there are so many things you learn outside the fours of the classroom, things that cannot be measured by grades.
There are 3 ways to improve our intelligence by learning:
i. Learn by reading.
Read stuff that you like, especially those that nourishes your soul and imagination.
When I was a teenager, I fancy fiction books like the Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings and horror-themed books of Stephen King. I even collected more than 30 Stephen King Books, which I later on let go. My taste of books changed. I am now more attuned to read books about leadership, public speaking, finance, investing, personal-development and many others.
When reading, it is good to also ask questions. Are the lessons and stories from the book useful to me or not? Don’t just read for the heck of reading. Don’t just read and believe what you have read right away. You have to assess. When Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code was on hype, a lot of people told me it would destroy my faith. It didn’t! I knew it was fiction. I just read it out of pure curiosity and entertainment.
And don’t just read something because it’s what most people are reading. Just because it’s trending doesn’t mean it’s good.
ii. Learn from Mentors.
A mentor is someone who can be your coach or your guide. He/she could also be your source of helpful advice in times when you are in doubt. A mentor could your parent, your best friend or your teacher. Ask them questions. Seek their opinions. Get something out of their mind. When making decisions, it is good to ask opinion from your coach for another person’s point of view. You may or may follow their opinion but you have to hear it to weight your options.
I have plenty of mentors as a leader and public speaker. I may not have a written agreement with them but every time I seek their advice, they are simply so generous and kind to give time to response to my inquiry, sometimes through email or through text.
iii. Learn by experience.
There so many things we can learn about life if we just continue to explore the world. Unfortunately, a lot of people nowadays are so riveted to virtual living. They spend more time in front of their computer or mobile phones. They want to connect to the world through their fingertips by disconnecting to the world around them. They spend more time in social networking sites, rather than to live a real life.
When I was little, my father used to tell me to go to the beach with friends or whoever I wanted, just as long as I would be outside. I was always inside the house reading, writing, or tinkering with some stuff in the kitchen. I didn’t get what my father used to tell until now. My father was right! I had to go out more often because there are more to it in life than just staying cozy under a roof.
Dealing with people is one of the things a leader must master. When you’re outside, you’ll meet different kinds of people. When you get used to be in their presence, you will be able to learn how to deal with them in different circumstances.
I know love is quite a broad subject to tackle. In fact, thousands of books have discussed love but are still unable to cover all of its dimensions. Love is complex. It comes in many forms. You can be loving, compassionate, caring and fair to people but not to other living creatures. Sometimes, it is also hard to show these traits to people who we least like. You have to be aware of it. When you notice yourself disliking a person, do a self-check. Ask yourself, “How can I control myself from disliking this person?”
Sometimes, we just dislike a person for no reason.If it is impossible to like that person, it is fine! Just make sure you control your urge to bark at them. You have to be civil, polite and respectful at all times.
You can also love the environment. To do show this, you have to be responsible with your trash.
To love, in whatever form is every leader’s obligation!
A basic responsibilities of a leader are simple – to talk, to walk and to think!
You must make plans. You must have visions and ideas. You have to communicate it to your team. You have to talk to give instructions. It could in a formal setting like a meeting. It could also be informal like through phone call or email or short messaging.
Whatever you talk about, you must the first person to live by it. In short you have to walk the talk.
It is not right to just talk or walk or both without thinking! You have to assess.
I have seen people posting something on social sites because it is what everyone is doing. Facebook and other social sites are great tools to spread good things. Sadly a lot of people use it for the wrong purpose.
I got the acronym T-H-I-N-K on Facebook, which says it all. Before you say anything, before you do anything, THINK! Is it Thoughtful? Is it Helpful? Is it Important? Is it Nice? Is it Kind? If it is not any of the T-H-I-N-K meanings, then don’t say it. Don’t do it!
Don’t post it!
Think of your leadership role as a knife. It is sharp, it can be painful because sometimes, it takes sacrifice. Sometimes, you are faced with tasks that seem impossible to do. It can be stressful as well.
Just like a knife, if you handle it the wrong way, you’ll get hurt. But if handle it well, it will serve its purpose.
They say rough seas make good sailors.You have to experience challenges and pressures to produce the best in you.
If you are in less favorable environment, you have 2 options. First is to give up and simply accept the situation as it is. Second is to make the most out of it but find ways to get out of there.
Difficulties provide us an opportunity to better ourselves up. They appear paralyzing because they threaten our comfort. Nobody likes discomfort!
Rather than doing something productive, I know a lot of people wish for something they don’t have. I wish I were smarter. I wish I were richer. I wish I had a better job. I wish! I wish! They wait for something to fall on their lap before they do anything to change their lives.
If you’re in a rough situation, you have to work your butt off to get out of there! And you shouldn’t settle down until you get out of there. You shouldn’t feel cozy. No one is supposed to be in a rough life all the time.
The roughness of life helps us dig out whatever gem hidden inside us. The environment you are in helps shape your style as a leader and as a person in general. You should let it shape you beautifully.