Individual Commitments

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I’ve never been able to abide individuals who, when you are talking to them one-on-one, appear so unbelievably committed. Indeed, they are actually passionate about what they are saying and, on a one-on-one basis, they exude the highest level of credibility and reliability.

And then, you leave the meeting, encounter, Starbuck’s coffee, or otherwise, with the best of intentions in moving forward, and then something happens. I’m not exactly sure what it is; but alas: nothing happens.

After the meeting, I write an e-mail summarizing the conversation and identifying what the open items are that each of us is going to be pursuing.

And then….nothing happens! Literally…nothing!

It’s an old Supremes song.

I tweak them a couple of times by letting them know what I have been doing to pursue my open items from that particular conversation and giving them my progress along the way. I do that a couple of times with no questions asked and then, I summarize it a week or two weeks later, letting them know my progress and asking them where they are in the pursuit.

And, again…nothing.

And then I start tweaking them more specifically until I finally start sending them e-mails and even leaving voice mails on their cell phones asking them to let me know or to at least to give me a call.

Guess what?

You guessed it – nothing. I get no response at all.

Occasionally, the smarter ones throw me a bone once in a while to keep me in the game and to let me know what they are doing. But, when it’s all said and done, they just simply fade farther and farther away and they ultimately are gone, doing–you guessed it–nothing!

I don’t know what to make of it. It’s just remarkable to me.

What’s even more remarkable is the fact that even when I connect to individuals that I have known for 20 years . . . or I reconnect with them . . . it’s as if the behavior just simply repeats itself over and over again. It’s the old adage that a leopard truly can’t change its spots.

I had a conversation with a very high level CEO. We did a morning coffee together. The CEO had gone through tremendous personal travails and I reached out to the CEO who by that point was an ex-CEO. There was enormous gratitude and appreciation. And she expressed an incredible level of satisfaction in the exchange.

And there was also a clear commitment to get together after her family took a much needed vacation together to rehabilitate.

You know what?  I never got a call ever that.

What is that all about?

What is the process by which an individual is prepared to commit in personam and abdicate in general.

I didn’t get it when I was 21… and I really don’t get it today.

The adage is so very simple.  Do what you say you are going to do.  Why is that so difficult to get?

 

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