Karin’s Leadership Articles

The Power of Always: Making Commitments You Can Keep

by | Nov 13, 2012 | Authenticity & Transparency, By Karin Hurt |

I will always brush my teeth before I go to bed.

That’s pretty easy.

I will always exercise at least 5 times a week.


I get stuck in the airport, my kid gets sick, there’s a hurricane,

A bit harder.

As leaders we have long lists of intentions. We do our best to keep our commitments.


Identifying What’s Always Important

“You are what you do, not what you say you will do”
~C.J. Jung

Have you ever sat down and figured out what are you most important commitments? Ones you are sure you can keep. Simple, measurable not intentions commitments? What are the specific actions you will do “no matter what.”

What commitments can you absolutely make to yourself?

Take a moment here, it’s harder than it seems.

Are you willing to write it down?

What could you commit to always do with your team?

Hold a weekly coaching session?

Always give honest feedback?



Take another moment this gets even more tricky.

Are you confident enough in your ability to follow-through?

Are you willing to share the list with them tomorrow?

I’ve also done this as a team exercise.

What can we always commit to do on every customer interaction?

  • A warm, energetic greeting?
  • A careful analysis of options?
  • ?
  • ?

It’s a useful exercise at many levels.

What are you most important always commitments?

Why are they important?

Karin Hurt

Karin Hurt helps human-centered leaders resolve workplace ambiguity and chaos, so that they can drive innovation, productivity and revenue without burning out employees. She’s the founder and CEO of Let’s Grow Leaders, an international leadership development and training firm known for practical tools and leadership development programs that stick. She’s the award-winning author of four books including Courageous Cultures: How to Build Teams of Micro-Innovators, Problem Solvers, and Customer Advocates and Winning Well: A Manager’s Guide to Getting Results-Without Losing Your Soul and a hosts the popular Asking For a Friend Vlog on LinkedIn. A former Verizon Wireless executive, Karin was named to Inc. Magazine’s list of great leadership speakers. Karin and her husband and business partner, David Dye, are committed to their philanthropic initiative, Winning Wells – building clean water wells for the people of Cambodia.


  1. Steve Borek

    I make a commitment to myself, and silently to the other person, that they’re going to do a great job. If you approach someone with any doubt, you’ve already compromised the relationship before you begin.

  2. Eric Dingler (@EricDingler)

    I love the strength in developing non- negotiables with your team’s input. It gives them permission to say no. A powerfully useful word most people need to use more often.

  3. letsgrowleaders

    Steve, I really like that. I will use that one. Thanks!

  4. letsgrowleaders

    Eric, thanks. Thanks for adding that… Fully agree with you… The Power to say no makes all the difference.

  5. xiaotengma

    Great post. I think that making the commitment is something that leaders tend to overlook. As a leader, it’s definitely imperative to honor those commitments you make to yourself and to others. Thanks for sharing!

    • letsgrowleaders

      Thank you for joining the conversation. I like how you add the element of honoring commitments to yourself.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for joining the conversation. I like how you add the element of honoring commitments to yourself.

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