What True Commitment Looks Like

How committed are you to winning? To executing your plans? To achieving your goals?

I’ve asked the winning question to thousands of organizational leaders and the overwhelming response is ‘100%.’ They’re totally committed.

Are they?

All of us limit ourselves with false ceilings. We underestimate what we are capable of and what true commitment looks like.

Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson are elite rock climbers who recently completed what one magazine dubbed, ‘The Climb of the Century.’ They free-climbed the seemingly impossible Dawn Wall, a massive rock face on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. To us mortals, the wall appears to have about as many foot-and-handholds as a 3,000-foot plate of glass. Yet Caldwell and Jorgeson climbed it … and it took nineteen days! 

Now that’s commitment.

Or so you might think. The real commitment was actually in the years they spent dangling from ropes and studying the wall with magnifying lenses to find the holds that might make an ascent possible. It was in the years of practice, sequencing the moves that made up each of the 32 pitches. And it was in the years they spent on logistics and strategy, determining how fast to climb – or not, where to pre-stash supplies on the wall, and how they might receive supplies. This wasn’t just nineteen days; this was a seven-year project.

Now that’s commitment.

You’re an organizational leader. Maybe you don’t have to be as committed as a Caldwell or Jorgeson. But ask yourself if you are as committed as you should be.

Your thoughts?


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