As we ascend the ladder of dysfunctions, we now come to the third – lack of commitment.
There’s no doubt you’ve known someone who just can’t commit to a relationship. Or maybe you’ve been that devil. This person is a charmer so long as he or she is getting what they want. But eventually they get bored and move on.
They may still string you along for a bit before they drop you into the sea with the weight of failed expectations tied to your leg like a ten ton anchor.
There are many reasons (or excuses) why people don’t commit. Mostly they are afraid. Commitment is like death. Once you get there you never come back. Or even if you do, you won’t escape death’s clutches forever. The Grim Reaper will come.
What commitment represents is a death of sorts. It’s the death of other choices you could have made. It’s also the death of indecision, or the power to juggle choices in the air without ever grabbing one.
Over time if you juggle long enough, your arms will give out. Then you’ll just catch an object at random. We all need some kind of stability, even if that is the stability of chaos. Habits hold on like vises. Change is scary and making a choice is like death, so very final.
One of the crippling effects of fear is that we can’t see as well.
The other morning I woke up to get ready for work. But something was amiss. I hadn’t laid my glasses in the usual familiar spot. In fact, they weren’t anywhere near my nightstand. I had laid them on the foot of the bed. Hunting for them without being able to see them was quite a nerve wracking adventure!
If I hadn’t found my glasses, I could not have kept my commitment to work.
If a team can’t see the big picture about a new direction, they will be as afraid of commitment as a teenager is of going to pick out her own casket.
You need commitment to make big changes, and even little ones require consent. As a leader, make sure you explain the “why”. Give them a chance to ask questions. Frame your explanation from their perspective.
If you’ll do these simple things, your team’s momentum won’t be killed by the fear of commitment.