All good leaders know the difference between ‘internal commitment’ and ‘compliance’. Yes, sometimes, compliance will have to do, particularly in moments of crisis and great urgency, when there is no time to put the ‘effort’ into gaining real buy-in.
But, the downsides of trying to lead when all you have behind you is ‘compliance’ are clear:-
- People who are not fully committed to your vision and journey are unlikely to ‘go the extra mile’ when the going gets tough.
- People will need convincing over and over again as each new situation arises. Basically you buy compliance with a ‘for one use only’ sticker.
- People do not undergo learning and growth so successfully when they adopt a state of ‘grudging compliance’ , unlike when they are ‘fully committed’ and bought in to what they are doing.
- People who are not ‘fully committed’ tend to look to others to take responsibility and blame others when things go wrong. In other words they deflect responsibility.
For a leader to be successful in their venture, they need their teams and followers to be fully committed and bought in completely to the vision and journey, and be prepared to take individual responsibility for making it happen.
The real work of a leader is therefore in gaining this level of passion, loyalty and spirit. Helping people to see the value of being part of the team, painting (in multi-colour) the picture of what lies ahead, and imbuing people with a vivid sense of excitement. Once this is achieved, the leader can enjoy seeing the results of these efforts.
- Watching people take on ‘personal responsibility’ for a cause that they now believe in.
- Observing commitment in people that is now ‘internalised’ to the point where it does not need ‘topped up’ every time a new problem or new situation occurs – ‘commitment is reusable’
- Seeing people develop, learn and grow, not only in terms of specific domain knowledge but, even more rewarding, in terms of ‘self-growth’
- Experiencing drive, momentum and relentless energy in pursuit of what is now a ‘shared vision’
If you would like to discuss how you can become a more effective leader, a leader who is able to inspire, influence and gain internal commitment, rather than merely compliance, please get in touch by submitting your details through the Contact Us page. I will be only too glad to discuss with you.