Be careful to protect your commitments…and not let them slide or fade.
It’s harder than you think. I’m often in meetings where I readily agree to deliver something…and then circumstances change, new obstacles arise…and I am under pressure to adjust. Sometimes it is obvious…and sometimes it sneaks up on me.
In 2002, I was responsible for a new building project here at 12Stone. We were doubling the size of our worship center and I was charged by my Senior Pastor to deliver a building that held 1,000 chairs. It didn’t seem that difficult of an objective until construction costs began to escalate. That led to actions like removing square footage from the building design. Later, we found that the stage was designed to be too small, so we enlarged. it. Then, we realized that we had forgotten to provide space for several camera positions. Before I realized what happened, the chair count had dropped to 900 and the costs were still going up.
The real kicker was this – I failed to alert my Senior Pastor that I lost control of the commitment I had made to him. By the time we realized what had happened…it was almost too late to recover. We did, but tensions with the architect and builder ran high.
Here’s the thing…It is okay to raise my hand and admit that I’ve been backed into a difficult trade-off. It is acceptable to initiate a conversation with my boss to renegotiate a commitment I’ve made. But it is not okay to get casual (or careless) with the original commitment.
Thanks for listening.