Friday, April 17, 2015

What is Your Level of Commitment?

Pig or Chicken - What is Your Level of Commitment?

Pig and chicken arm wrestling
"Once we commit to becoming leaders, our focus is no longer ourselves." (Leading in the Wildland Fire Service, p. 6)
Inspiration for this post comes from Steven Pressfield's blog on commitment. His piece reminded me of the leadership parable about a ham-and-eggs breakfast and depth of commitment. Here is Agile Jedi's version of the story:

Once Upon a Time....

A chicken and a pig lived on a farm. The farmer was very good to them and they both wanted to do something good for him.

One day the chicken approached the pig and said, "I have a great idea for something we can do for the farmer! Would you like to help?"

The pig, quite intrigued by this, said, "of course! What is it that you propose?"

The chicken knew how much the farmer enjoyed a good healthy breakfast. He also knew how little time the farmer had to make a good breakfast. 

"I think the farmer would be very happy if we made him breakfast." 

The pig thought about this. While not as close to the farmer, he too knew of the farmer's love for a good breakfast. 

"I'd be happy to help you make breakfast for the farmer! What do you suggest we make?"

The chicken, understanding that he had little else to offer suggested, "I could provide some eggs."

The pig knew the farmer might want more, "That's a fine start. What else should we make?"

The chicken looked around...scratched his head...then said, "ham? The farmer loves ham and eggs!"

The pig, very mindful of what this implied, said, "that's fine, but while you're making a contribution I'm making a real commitment!"


You will find commitment spoken of a great deal in Leading in the Wildland Fire ServiceThe following excerpt comes from pages 53-54.

Leaders create teams committed to the mission. To increase the level of commitment, leaders seek input and delegate appropriately.

We involve team members from the start and actively solicit contributions—not just strong backs but also ideas and observations about the work environment. We make people responsible, give them enough authority to accomplish their assignment, and hold them accountable. Although we take a risk when we delegate, the resulting ownership far outweighs the risk. Involvement is the foundation for commitment.

Questions to Ponder
  • What is your level of commitment to your organization, team, or mission?
  • Are you committed or involved?
  • Are you willing to increase your level of commitment?

Original posting: January 14, 2013.

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