August 13, 2013

Topic: Management & Leadership

You ought to be committed

In my last blog I mentioned that I went on a trip to Israel, but what I didn’t mention was that even though the travel time was long (26 hours to get back), I cut the trip shorter than originally proposed so I could get back in time to do the Bike for Boys & Girls Club fundraising ride.

In fact, I got back home at 2 a.m., and the 50-mile ride started at 8:30. Why did I do this? Because I’m committed to fundraising for the Boys & Girls Club. Why? Because the folks at the Boys & Girls Club do great work. Why? Because the people who work there are committed to making kids’ lives better.

One of the things I love about Madison is that people are very committed to whatever they believe in. You might say some of those people should be committed, but that’s another issue. Even back when I went to school here in Madison, it was one of the things I loved about UW. If you wanted to find a pickup basketball game, you could find that at midnight. And if you wanted to find a party, you could find that at 6 a.m. What people are into, they’re really into, and that not only makes Madison an interesting place to live, but also a better place to live.

It’s rewarding to have commitments in your personal life and even better to have them in your work. Steve Jobs said, “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” I agree. Although for some it may be a stretch to “love” your work, I think you should at least like the people you work with and feel the work you do makes a difference. If you’re committed to your work, it can make a huge difference in your individual success and happiness, and also the success of your organization.

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