We can define community and our citizenship in terms of commitment. Meeting the challenge of leadership first requires an understanding that people commit, not to measurable goals, but through trust, integrity, innovation, and similar ideals. Commitment is a binding process that is built by recognizing small victories along the path to total commitment. Letting people take action and make choices builds commitment. Helping people want to commit and a committed leadership also build commitment.
Commitment comes in the beginning, unifying organizational members and making them a community. It increases their capacity to succeed. Individuals join organizations when what they think they will give equals or exceeds what they think they will receive. Individuals accept organizational membership (citizenship). They give up some personal freedom of action when participation helps them gain some or all of their own goals. Leadership is, in part, helping individuals see the possible payoffs for joining and facilitating (not directing) commitment to citizenship in the organization.
Leaders need to realize that followers have other dimensions of their lives than that part committed to the work organization. Unless the organization respects the individual's nonwork life, members will not commit fully to the organization's work goals. Leadership must recognize this fact and authentically value the idea of respect for liberty and the quality of life implicit in its living. Notwithstanding this, we should be totally committed. The challenges we face ask for our best. This means with our head, heart, and hand--with our intellect, spirit, and energy.
How can we strengthen our commitment? How do we prepare to be of service? Commitment means doing what everyone can do but usually doesn't. Commitment is not professing, but doing. Commitment gives us self-definition and self-identity. Commitment is example leadership. It is a binding principle on the person. Commitment changes us.
Commitment is a process of self-denial of anything alien to what we are committed to. Commitment keeps us in the center, not on the fringes of life. Fringers want the advantage, not the work. When we have two standards we are trying to live we are double-minded. A double-minded person is unstable and erratic. Full commitment is essential to excellence. Full commitment means single-mindedness. Our decisions in life--short- term and long-term--will be dictated by a shift from one standard to the other and will make us unstable.
Spiritual community is a basic change in the way one thinks about work and all life. A community is one that has undergone a fundamental
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Publication information: Book title: Capturing the Heart of Leadership:Spirituality and Community in the New American Workplace. Contributors: Gilbert W. Fairholm - Author. Publisher: Praeger Publishers. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 180.
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