“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.” — H.E. Luccock

I have seen senior leaders wishing that teams had more commitment to the senior leaders’ objectives.

I have seen team members wishing that senior leaders were more committed to helping the project they are working on to be more successful.

Commitment requires collaboration.

Here are recommendations for each party of a commitment.

For those making requests, I suggest the following three actions.

  1. Be clear and concise about what you expect.  I have seen senior leaders present a 100-slide powerpoint deck about a project and believe that they were communicating their objectives. The team on the receiving end of this data dump had no idea what was desired.
  2. Prioritize.  Be clear about the order of your priorities.
  3. Ask the team to bring you options for achieving your desired outcomes.

For the teams receiving these requests, I suggest the following actions.

  1. Develop a high confidence plan that achieves the top priorities that you can commit to.
  2. Provide options.  Don’t shrink from providing options that go outside your circle of control.  If you believe buying widget x will help you achieve the objectives, provide that as an option.
  3. Ask for specific support, such as tools or additional expert coaching, that will help you achieve the objectives faster and better.
After taking these actions, you can confidently make a mutual commitment to achieving the best results.

Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,

Alan Willett
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