If most of us know what it means, than why do so many struggle to honor them?
For lots of reasons, I suppose.
There is one in particular that I believe has the ability to shape an entire generation that I want to talk about today.
And there is one group of people that have the opportunity to change that.
As parents, we must teach our children that once a commitment is made, preference is set aside. If we don't we'll be raising a generation of wimps. Our kids will bail when it gets hard, a better option comes along, or they just generally don't feel like honoring their commitment.
When I was a 7th grader, (a VERY long time ago), I was on the middle school basketball team. It was early in the season, and my body was already sore, tired and generally becoming "allergic" to hard work. I can distinctly remember sitting in our family's Dodge Minivan in our driveway after my mom had just driven me home from another practice.
I told her the plight I was facing, and I was ECSTATIC to hear her response! Well, the first part anyway. I told her I wanted to quit, and she immediately said…"You can quit if you want to" (I was getting ready to sigh the deepest breath of relief I'd ever experienced when she followed that sentence with this)…
"You can quit…when the season is over".
That lesson has ALWAYS stuck with me. It's carried over many seasons of my life, well into my career as a leadership consultant. Let's admit it…there are plenty of times when we'd rather take the short cut, easy way out or generally walk away.
It's our PREFERENCE that is tripping us up. And our kids are watching us.
When we see something through by honoring those we said we would, they learn that's the benchmark. That is the "new normal".
When we come and go when we feel like it, take the more pleasurable option in the short-term regardless of its effect on others, or walk away before we've seen something all the way through to the end?
We've failed as parents.
It doesn't mean we are failures.
It simply means…no excuses. Own it. We've dropped the ball.
As I work with large teams through the WHOBIX leadership curriculum, I can see it a mile away. Show me the employee who is perpetually late, loves the phrase "that's not my job" and believes they are entitled to rewards just for showing up…AND I WILL SHOW YOU A PARENT THAT HAS MODELED THAT BEHAVIOR.
I want to leave you with what I started with.
When we make a commitment, preference is set aside.
If we don't model and teach that to our children we will have raised a generation of entitled, often fired employees, who believe the world owes them something for doing nothing.
Is it always easy? No. But then again, nothing worth pursuing ever is.
By the way…once I stuck that season through until the end, a funny thing happened. I fell in love with the experience, my team and being part of something worth working for. And…we were pretty good too. League champs if memory serves me correctly. :)
When this becomes part of the DNA of our kids, they will know WHO they are.
Like we say @WHOBIX…
When you know WHO you are,
you will know WHAT to do.
From the desk of our founder, Brett W. Gould.