Track, measure, and report – but only what is important to the goals and vision of the mission of your undertakings. Develop standards and protocols that are simple. It helps everyone if a system of production and/or behaviors is in place.

the western half of the main town in that region. Members of the village would receive these products on their side of the river and transport them to their village. The packaging consisted of a heavy, air-tight barrel which could be rolled along the road the entire length of the trip to each village. Getting the barrel across the river may have seemed a simple enough task, but it was not an easy process and mistakes could result in losing the whole barrel down the river.

Originally, only one village came for these supplies and only one volunteer was needed. But, one-by-one all four villages eventually took advantage of the service provided and a new volunteer was need each time.

While watching over this project as it grew, the manager observed some interesting facts about the individual crew members.

Abel had performed this task many times and had made several mistakes the first few times. After a while, he figured out that he needed to carefully attach a rope to the barrel each time, and when he began moving the barrel he descended the river bank with a very strong hold on both the barrel and the rope. Wearing tough shoes that would keep him steady in the strong current and that would withstand the rocky riverbed, he waded across the waist-deep water holding the rope tight and letting the barrel float. Then he would carefully stand the barrel up at the top of the bank for the villager who would soon arrive.

Brighton, on the first Saturday morning of taking on this assignment, observed Abel’s process before heading over to his barrel, which was downstream around the bend of the river a good distance out of sight of Abel’s location. He hardly made any mistakes his first time and after another observation or two, he had the process memorized and never made mistakes again.

Creed, on his first Saturday, studied Brighton and wrote down lengthy notes of his preparations and procedure. Using his notes, he imitated the process with his own barrel and did not make even the few mistakes that Brighton had encountered. He kept his notes dry on the side of the river and read them over carefully each time he started his task on Saturday mornings until he had the process memorized.

Dexter analyzed Creed’s notes, observed and took more notes, practiced the work, and then prepared a complete guide for the project manager that could be implemented by any volunteer so that no one again would make mistakes. It was especially valuable, since Abel had completed his service and would now require a replacement.

Everett was Abel’s replacement. When he first reported for duty, he carefully reviewed the guide Dexter had developed. He performed his task that Saturday morning, and then for the next six days he began designing, gathering tools and materials, and building a simple, but efficient bridge to cross his spot on the river. Having shared his approach with the project manager, over the next three weeks he build bridges at all the crossings and completely eliminated the need for the four volunteers’ time to be used on that task for years to come.

All four crew members were completing the given assignment. Abel did what was expected of him. Brighton saved time by first learning the best practices through a trainer who mentored him at the outset, and didn’t need to bother the project manager. That way he started out much more effective and efficient which lead to fairly quick mastery of the task. Creed created a knowledge base that he could study in addition to and independent of the trainer/mentor which lead to rapid mastery beyond the means of instructor-led training. Dexter thought ahead about the needs of future workers and developed a system-wide training program that could be utilized with any new worker to guarantee consistency and efficiency.

However, Everett was the most effective worker. He thought ahead and in the best interest of the community. His smart design approach will help save valuable time, reduce resources and management efforts, and ultimately decrease capital outlay. He created a permanent asset to the project.



Commitment elicits a wide range of emotions and that can be useful.  Yet the foundation of commitment can be simple – you either honor it or you don’t.

A commitment is just a decision.  Even when you don’t decide, that is still your decision in the end.  Whether due to procrastination, laziness, hesitation, or fear, no decision is a decision to not make a decision.  The results or consequences of inaction have their own outcomes.  Often it will spawn regret that you did not make a choice in that matter.  Most people find that making any decision is better than no decision at all.  No decision – a floundering in itself – breeds more floundering.  By making an outright decision, you have something with which to work.  A decision prompts action and moving forward.

Regardless of the parties involved in the decision, you have made a commitment to someone.  If you feel that no one else was part of the decision and that you have not made a commitment to anyone, you still made a commitment to yourself.  Most people would say that a higher power has also made note of your commitment – so at least two are aware of your decision, your commitment.

Once a commitment is made, consider it a contract even if it didn’t come with one.  Set up an action plan.  If you need support in developing the various components of an action plan, contact us now.  Even if your commitment was personal and completely internal, take just a moment to write it down on something right away.  That step acts as a way to sign the deal.  It makes the commitment more profound and it serves as a first step to solidify your agreement to act on it. 

Regularly return to review your action plan – or your little stickie note that served as a place to jot down your internal commitment.  Check your progress.  It’s even better if you mark down the extent of your progress somehow to continually measure your advancement – or lack thereof.  Measuring serves as an intrinsic reward and motivator.  You will more likely progress to the desired end of your commitment when you monitor your progress.  Goals don’t often get met just by accident or by time passing.

Making a commitment – preferably by way of an outright decision, considering it a contract on which you develop an action plan, and measuring your progress to the desired outcome is your truest pathway to success.  These steps can remove the impact that emotions often have on commitment.  Strong, positive commitments can drive you to a thriving existence.

For more on commitment, accountability, reaching financial/professional/lifestyle goals, results day-to-day and for life, find out how you can achieve more with the tools and coaching through Becoming Ideal.  Take your next step to accomplishing your true aspirations.

There was once a project manager who oversaw a crew of four support volunteers.  Every Saturday morning, his team provided assistance to four separate remote villages by delivering food, medicine, and supplies to the other side of the river that looped around

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