Commitment alone won’t deliver results

by Kate on September 6, 2010

Do it, don't just think it!

Perhaps, like me, you sometimes make an earnest commitment to do something yet it still doesn’t happen? ┬áIt’s not that we intend to break the promise, but we get busy and as time passes the commitment can seem less important and gets neglected.

Last week, I attended the Let’s Talk Business seminar on marketing and there were a lot of great ideas shared by the panel members. Like many people at this event, I committed to action. Infact, Amanda Gonzalez (@untangle on Twitter) captured on video my commitment to writing a follow up blog post.

Commitment – a pledge to do something – is a great start, but deciding is not the same as doing. Despite the best of intentions, many of us have so much to occupy our time that we don’t do the things that would dramatically improve our business results.

After last week’s event I had a particularly exhilarating few days that resulted in a new and exciting business relationship (more on this to come). In the frenzy of all that, what I didn’t do was write that blog post on measuring the results of what we do and taking action.

Ironically, last week I also decided that I would start a series of word of the week posts and my first would be on Action and Accountability, because they get us from commitment to the results. To get results we must get beyond thinking and take action on the stuff that matters. In the real world, of course, we can end up distracted or sidetracked, we stop taking action and our commitments don’t get met.

So what’s the trick to making sure we don’t let commitments get defeated through lack of action? For me, one way is to focus on small steps that can be completed quite quickly and where I can see a result.

And it really does help to keep track of results, whether that is sales calls made, blog posts written or completing a regular stock count. Perhaps it’s ideas implemented from seminars you attend or blogs you read.

Another thing that helps me is to be accountable for my actions. For me, being accountable is not about someone checking up on what I’ve done, but accepting that I am responsible for the results I produce and setting up support mechanisms to help me stay on track. Making a commitment to another person is a powerful way to do this, especially when you create a process to regularly check in on progress.

Over to you

Where can you take action this week to help deliver on your commitment to succeed in business?

What or who will help you be accountable for the results?

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Commitment issues
September 27, 2010 at 6:27 am

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Kate Groom September 10, 2010 at 5:05 am

Thanks so much for popping back and sharing your goals, Cat. You’ve set us a great example by making them clear and laying out well defined results for your activities over the next few month. It will be very clear when the finish line is crossed, and what’s more, each of these goals is a money-producing one whether that’s attracting new customers or building a base of potential customers. Thanks for your inspiration and generous sharing — and for meeting your commitment.

2 Cat Matson September 9, 2010 at 1:29 pm

I promised I’d return to share my bite-size goals … that’s my accountability end of the equation for the week.

1. 3 new 1-on-1 coaching by 1 December 2010
2. Online ‘KickStart’ program for business owners – to be launched by 15 October, started by 15 November
3. 50 new followers on the Alito | Fusion FB page by 19 December 2010

Thanks for the reminder Kate … and thanks for spurring me into action.

Cat

sparking your peak business performance

3 Claire Lane September 8, 2010 at 2:17 pm

Hi Kate,

Great post, reminds me of the conversation we had months ago about writing – remember – “just do it!” Awesome…

I think it’s sooo important to know the difference between being ‘busy’ and actually achieving worthwhile stuff. Like you say, taking things in small steps is a great way to do this. As for accountability – as a ‘solopreneur’ I find networking with people in similar situations invaluable. Until I started to do this, I could go for months without achieving anything – and no-one would ever know! Now I know there are people out there (such as with the centurions) who WILL take a genuine interest in what I’ve achieved (and how much it’s earned me – Robin!).

Thanks for the reminder about the importance of action and accountability! Keep writing!

Claire

4 Kate Groom September 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Hi Linda,
Getting the balance of the ‘to do’ list right can be a challenge for me too. Sometimes I hit the mark and others not. I agree that having something to ‘tick off’ is a good way to keep track of progress, and whether daily or weekly might depend a bit on your personal style and business. There’s certainly something of an art to chunking things the best way – keep at it and you’ll eventually find what works for you!

5 Linda Fairbairn September 7, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Hi Kate ~
Always good to be reminded about taking ACTION, or rather not taking just any old action that keeps you busying about, but ACTION that will “dramatically improve our business results” ~

Saw a Tweet the other day that asked “what PRECISELY will you have done by day’s end to nudge forward your espoused #1 priority?” ~ The capitals shouting out ‘PRECISELY’ made me jump AND take stock! LOL

I think you’re right when you suggest “small steps that can be completed quite quickly” and which show results are the way to go – I always feel envious when people say – “Powering through my list today – 3 things ticked off already and its only 11am!” when the task I have set myself will likely take all week! I obviously need to break them down into smaller chunks so I too can say I’ve ticked off 5 things today, even if it is only 5 things out of a 32 part process ;)

I look forward to reading what you have in store for ‘B’!

Linda
Sharewords: *highlights your holiday adventures*

6 Deb Evans September 7, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Wonderful post Kate and since I actually spoke to you last week I could hear the commitment in your voice.

My sharewords are: Think BIGGER!

Deb

7 Kate Groom September 7, 2010 at 8:29 am

Robin, you are a master at helping people focus and stay on target and I’m delighted to be part of the Sharewords community.

8 Kate Groom September 7, 2010 at 8:26 am

Thanks, Amanda, for giving me the reason to write this post. And I LOVE your video blog.

9 Kate Groom September 7, 2010 at 8:24 am

Thanks, Suellen, for sharing your actions for the week and being accountable for the results. That’s the type of action a strong leader takes. Well done!
Have a wonderful week :-)

10 Suellen Hughes September 6, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Kate,
Thanks for a great blog. I’m pleased you followed through on your commitment. Your twitter question last week got me going and now your blog has done it again!

Actions to take this week:
1. Ring potential partners and contributors to determine level of interest and get a firm commitment from them.
2. Finish critical web copy so that I can launch next week.
3. Make a video to go on my web home page – keep asking for help until I find someone who says yes.

Accountability:
Centurions
My own personal need to succeed :-)

I will report back on progress too – it helped last week being able to tell someone I’d followed through.

Suellen
Kick start your best life

11 Cat Matson September 6, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Beautifully articulated Kate … and I’m with Amanda, focussing on one task at a time is my key ‘action’ for this week.

Another action for me this week is to set straight-forward, ‘bite-size’ goals to get me closer to my bigger goals. Having spent the last month of so feeling a bit ‘lost’ and overwhelmed, I reviewed the business plan to reconnect with what I’m ‘really’ on about. Doh! It was such a ‘whack’ of what you’re talking about … at the time of re-crafting the business plan I was sooooo committed … and then in the absence of smaller goals and an enticing, meaningful score-board, I got lost along the way.

So action: set my bite-size goals. Accountability: now that it’s shared here, I’m going to come back at the end of the week and report in :-) Nothing needed on your part – the public commitment is *more* than enough :-)

Thanks! And well done on taking action by following through on your commitments, and being accountable for them so publicy.

Cat

My sharewords: sparking your peak business performance

12 Amanda Gonzalez September 6, 2010 at 8:42 pm

Well done for following through on your words, Kate!

Mine is about focussing on one task at a time. With an overwhelming number of events/tasks/projects this month, I really need to stop and manage my time efficiently. If not, there certainly won’t be business success.

13 Leanne Berry September 6, 2010 at 8:12 pm

Great post Kate!

This week is all about getting new clients bedded down and operational – 5 clients to be exact – fits well with the week!
Today being Monday – I actioned the first client on Xero Accounting Software & Capsule CRM these 2 products integrate just beautifully together – already the client is pleased with the results to hand – wait until they see the live bank feeds come into action!
Other things on my daily to do list – were to send emails of thanks that I didnt get a chance to send last week, book flights to Sydney and work on our new website – all actioned and accomplished!!! – Im accountable firstly to me as all this action keeps my energy levels in top gear and also to Ian, my wonderful husband and business partner and he to me – it really helps us stay on track and get through the heavy workloads – and of course always in the background is the amazing support of Robin Dickinson and all the other Centurions!
I like a daily action list with 3-5 actions – action 1 task get it done, take a quick break and then action the next – amazing how quickly the items get crossed off and the feeling of achievement this gives you :)

Keep putting dings in the universe :D

Cheers

Leanne
My Sharewords – maximising your business profits

14 Robin Dickinson September 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Thank you for this excellent post, Kate.

A huge part of my day is spent help colleagues – especially in the Centurion business community – get and stay accountable for delivering results. This buddy system works very well. The key here is to find a buddy who is strong enough to hold you to account. ;)

Best, Robin

My sharewords: helping you succeed in business

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