Keeping Impeccable Agreements
Imagine a team opening a meeting with the following exchange: “Hi, I’m Robert. I keep 50% of my agreements. Hi, I’m Dana and I keep 60% of my agreements.” Think of your organization. How many agreements do you keep? Commitment 6 of the 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership (Dethmer, Chapman & Klemp) is the practice of integrity. Integrity is the unbroken flow of energy. Each broken agreement interrupts our energy flow. There are four pillars of integrity, and the one that we are focusing on is the fourth: keeping impeccable agreements. Keeping an Impeccable agreement means that we do everything we say we are going to do, or we renegotiate the agreement if we no longer want to keep it. What would happen if your organization kept 90-100% of its agreements? The path toward keeping 100% of our agreements starts by being more mindful when making agreements. Is the agreement specific about what you are going to do and by when? Most of us make sloppy agreements. “I’ll do it,” without the defining the “it” that they are doing. Or, “I’ll do it by next week, I’ll do it soon.” A golden rule of making clean and clear agreements is to be specific. How many times have you made an agreement and a voice in your head said, “I have no intention of doing that, but no one will follow up?" Or "that’s low on my priority list?" "I’ll get to it if I can.” Those are not clean agreements. Instead, “I’ll finish the 3rd quarter marketing budget by Friday at 5:00pm.” That’s a clear agreement. The goal is for every agreement to be clear.
I recently gave this exercise to a leadership team. I explained the definition of a clear agreement. Then I had them spend 15 minutes writing the number of messy agreements they currently had. They needed more time. This is common. Whatever extra “work” there is on the front end is worth the effort and investment when your teams are doing everything they say that they are going to do, or changing the agreement as soon as circumstances change. Keeping impeccable agreements improves energy, trust productivity of the team. Rather than setting unrealistic goals, taking on too many projects, and trying to do too much, teams notice when they cannot keep up with their promises. It helps teams get real about their resources so they can wisely focus on priorities. As this becomes habit, you’ll notice the results across the board.