Up Off the Concrete

Concrete - Up off the ConcreteWhile doing some work with a not for profit organization recently, I was talking to a young man who had been living on the streets for quite a while.  As he was telling me a little about himself, he exclaimed “I’m a chef, that’s my profession.”  I was struck by the fact that he didn’t say I want to be a chef or I’m going to be a chef. He said I am a chef.  I had only known this man for a few minutes but already knew that he had developed a mindset that would help him climb out of the life he had been chained to.  He had already found the key to unlocking those chains.

As he talked a little further, he described how he had gotten up off the concrete every morning to attend the culinary program he had recently graduated from.  He wasn’t kidding about the concrete.  He was homeless and literally had been sleeping on the sidewalk.  Somewhere, this man had found a connection to something he wanted.  It was strong enough that he used it to change his life.  I’m betting that those changes for him are going to be lasting ones.

In that short conversation, he revealed a secret to high performing people and organizations.  That secret is commitment; the strong inner desire to get something done or to make something happen.  Companies that create commitment within their people can accomplish nearly anything.  Many organizations, however, don’t address employee commitment as a critical factor for success, much less put a plan in place to foster it.

Transforming your business into one where the people are committed and not merely compliant is the single largest thing you can do to make it successful.  There’s no strategy, plan or structure change that will matter as much as that one thing.  It doesn’t mean you don’t need a good strategy, you do. But without the commitment of your people, poor execution of any plan is nearly guaranteed.

I’m proud that we started 4th Gear Consulting.  We created it to help people and organizations build that kind of commitment.  Just imagine what you can do with it.

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