I’m not a fan of the Dallas Cowboys but they have a number of quotes inside their locker room used to motivate their players. One of those quotes has stuck with me:
“Don’t Confuse Routine, with Commitment”
If you’ve been around sports long enough, you realize the truth to these words. It is so easy to get caught up in our “routines” that we begin believing this is “commitment”. You begin to hear things like:
“I come to work everyday”
“I put in my time”
“I produced more than anyone else in my group last year “- (last week – yesterday – etc.)
“I work hard”
“I don’t complain”
You hear these things, right!? And, for the most part, we have this filter that makes us believe that they are the right things to say, but the reality is we are confusing routine with commitment.
I have to tell you something – I’m probably not the best guy to work for. Why? I don’t give out many trophies for people that do what they were hired to do. When you come to work in my barn, I expect that you are going to perform the job you were hired to perform. That job takes hard work, you have to show up everyday and work, I don’t put up with complaining, and I expect you put in more than your time. I rarely confuse routine with commitment.
We all have routines, but I don’t equate your routine with being committed to my organization or to your profession. Commitment happens when you show your willingness to go beyond your routine on a regular basis. I run a recruiting company – candidates aren’t always available between 8am and 5pm, Monday through Friday – Clients aren’t always available to talk to you between 8am and 5pm Monday through Friday – mostly they are – but not always. So to be a committed recruiter or sales professional in my organization you will have to make connections with people at odd times, on odd days – it might even require you to take a call or have an appointment on the weekend. Like many other occupations and organizations, I’m sure.
So, how do I know if someone is committed – I don’t hear about it. I don’t hear they had a call on Saturday or they interviewed someone on Sunday evening. I don’t hear about how it took away from their personal life to take a client to a ball game on Saturday. Commitment is quiet. Commitment doesn’t have to boast or complain. They did it because they knew it was the right thing to do for their career and for the organization.
If you show up to run pass routes in the off season, and you’ve done that every year since college – that’s a routine. If you show up to run pass routes, and you invited and personally picked up 3 other teammates on the way to the field – that’s commitment. Do let your employees confuse the to.