I was talking with my mate, Max, last week.
Max is a fascinating bloke.
We worked together many years ago. We were both younger, and he a little younger than me.
He wasn’t called Max back then.
He made a decision to go off into the army as it suited what he needed in life at that point.
He did well.
Without going into details, let’s say Max moved from regulars to commandos and into the intelligence parts of the military.
That’s how he became known as Max.
When he left the military, he chose a new industry and went on to become a recognised expert in his new field of endeavour.
We’ve worked together a few times since those days and talk almost every day now as we often commute together.
Max is a special guy.
He has some very simple philosophies on life.
- there’s people he loves, people he cares about, and then there’s everyone else. He believes we only have so much capacity to care in our life and we should focus it judiciously.
- He doesn’t believe in political correctness. He argues that an offence can’t be given, only taken, so people need to shift their mindset rather than complaining.
Once we were doing some kayaking together for fitness. We usually drank a few beers afterwards as well.
After 4 trips out, he tells me he’s entered us into a race.
I’m flabbergasted. I’d kayaked 4 times in my life. I wasn’t doing a race!
The race happened to be an overnight adventure from Windsor to Brooklyn along the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney.
110km, 2 tide shifts, dark, lonely, hard. 15 hours.
I crewed for Max, which meant I drove my car and met him at the various pit stops along the course and fed him and watered him.
After stop 1, he was gutted. Against the tide, bloody hands, exhausted. 4 hours in.
He kept going.
Anyway, he finished the race.
And won his class.
Army philosophy: no matter how tired you are, no matter how bad the situation seems, you can always take one more step. And then another. And things can improve when you do. Simple, true, and obviously very effective.
Max said something last week that inspired me.
We were talking about a difficult situation and he looked at me with his intelligent eyes and said:
“Making a commitment provides hope, delivering on a commitment delivers trust”.
What a wonderfully simple statement.
Talk isn’t necessarily cheap as it does provide hope.
And hope is important. Hope provides motivation, inspiration, reason.
But it becomes cheap if it isn’t followed by action.
Following through, doing all that’s needed to deliver on the hope. Being sincere and not leaving anything in the fuel tank in pursuit of the hope.
That’s really important. Because delivering on the commitment provides trust.
And from trust comes self-belief, knowledge, courage, confidence.
Those multiplier effects that drive even greater achievement.
Make a commitment to drive hope and do so carefully and with conviction.
Conviction, not just in the statement of hope, but in the drive to implement what is required to achieve the “hope”.
Because delivering on the hope, delivering on the future state, delivering on potential, is what creates trust.
And trust drives synergy, and synergy is what drives outstanding sustainable performance.
Remember Max when you next make a commitment to other people that gives them hope. And “hope” that he’s not hiding in a bush outside making sure that you deliver on your commitment!