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What's Your Commitment To Yourself?

by:   Matt M. Starcevich, Ph.D., CEO

(For individual use only, not to be reproduced or used in any way without permission)

Forget about loyalty, it’s outdated, there’s little payoff and organizations can’t return it. Shift to your commit to yourself. Commitment goes beyond loyalty. Forget about what generation you’re in, from here forward is what counts. Peter Drucker states that "knowledge is the only meaningful resource". Knowledge belongs to you, it’s mobile and it’s for sale. Commit yourself to meaningful and satisfying work, and the organizations that seek out and value you and your skill sets will follow. You’ll control your own destiny. Oh yes, your current employer will see you as loyal—but not take you for granted.

This ten question quiz asks about hypothetical situations to assess the degree you are committed to yourself. Passing is not the goal, making the right choices about your life is!

1. You place an advertisement in the Wall Street Journal about yourself, what do you emphasize?
a. Your high mobility, ability to adjust to new situations and adapt fast.
b. Your multiple educational degrees.
c. Your solid track record of gradually increasing responsibilities and accomplishments.
2. You are offered a job that has a high degree of ambiguity and uncertainty, do you:
a. Reluctantly accept, hoping your new manager can clarify things.
b. Pass, because you like structure and can’t tolerate ambiguity.
c. Jump at the chance knowing you can create clarity for yourself and wing it.
3. You are preparing your objectives and performance plan for next year, do you:
a. Reshape last years objectives, this is pretty much an administrative exercise.
b. Hold yourself personally accountable and concentrate on outcomes.
c. Align your objectives with your manager and departments direction.
4. When you consider your attitude about your work and the organization, do you:
a. Feel you are in charge of your own morale—cynicism is not an option.
b. Accept conditions—the grass always appears greener on the other side.
c. Feel management is responsible for keeping employees contented and upbeat.
5. You are attending a social event with your peers from work and there seems to be a lot of complaining about current conditions, are you:
a. A quiet fence sitter, waiting to see which way the winds are blowing.
b. A dodger of personal responsibility—you point fingers, criticize, and complain with the rest of them.
c. A problem solver/fixer, the solution starts with you, assume ownership of the problems..
6. Your department has just hired an efficiency expert for an audit of all personnel, how would they describe you:
a. Been on the payroll a long time, well intentioned, very busy.
b. Believes it’s contribution that counts, contributes more than costs.
c. In general, goes with the flow, willing to take small risks.
7. When you consider the organization you work for, do you consider yourself:
a. A self employed owner with personal responsibility for improvement.
b. Mildly creative, can be counted on, a company person.
c. A good employee who is willing to follow directions.
8. Do you spend purposeful time:
a. Thinking about where the organization is going and if you will have a role in this future.
b. Thinking about the good old days.
c. Visualizing a clear mental picture of what you want to be/accomplish.
9. How would you describe your beliefs about your personal development:
a. I got my degrees, from now on it’s experience that counts.
b. You never finish your education, the challenge is to keep it relevant.
c. You are willing to take what ever courses management thinks are appropriate.
10. You believe it is important to:
a. Study people who are great examples, benchmarking against the "best in class".
b. Be realistic, successful people have more potential and talent than the rest of us.
c. Getting better at your way of doing things.


  1. A=10, B=5, C=2 Education and accomplishments are important, they get you into the game—what keeps you in the game is quick adaptation to change. Short lived assignments, new projects, new careers—the sooner you get with the program the better—learn to race on.
  2. A=5, B=2, C=10 Get over your need for structure and certainty. Waiting for others to frame out the situation is disempowering. Act, learn to fail, improvise, but always move on—wing it, be flexible, and learn to fly.
  3. A=2, B=10, C=5 Look beyond the immediate, are you concentrating on the right things—streamline, eliminate. This will keep you focused on what’s important and avoid the activity trap. How are your growing "Me, Inc."?
  4. A=10, B=5, C=2 Don’t blame others for your emotions—some organizations are unfair, some managers jerks—so? You’re in charge of yourself, don’t wallow in negative emotions, commit to yourself to "get beyond them".
  5. A=5, B=2, C=10 Change manifest discontent. Don’t play the blame game—you become the victim. Build a reputation as a problem solver not a finger pointer—you’ll be valuable to have around and increase your career success.
  6. A=2, B=10, C=5 There is no free lunch—if you don’t contribute more than you cost, why keep you? Why provide you the freedom to grow and develop your skills and knowledge? What counts is contribution, not years you put in or how busy you are. Based on your contributions, would you pay your salary?
  7. A=10, B=5, C=2 If you’re in business for yourself, you are more entrepreneurial. How can you cut costs, improve productivity, innovate—don’t wait for others to call the shots—then you will truly be on your own, like an independent contractor.
  8. A=5, B=2, C=10 Visualize a clear mental picture of what/who you want to be—make it vivid, keep it alive, visit it often. We won’t get into the theory—trust us, it works! It’s a self fulfilling prophecy—without a goal, any road will get you there. To paraphrase, "The force is with you"—visualization will pull you toward this being a reality.
  9. A=2, B=10, C=5 Learn, retool or become obsolete. Lifelong learning insures competitiveness in the market place. The responsibility and rewards are yours—it doesn’t matter what you do—increase your knowledge base and your value.
  10. A=10, B=5, C=2 There’s no mystery—study great examples—then start copying their approach. Benchmark, find your role models—keep analyzing how they operate, their attitudes, work habits, and skills. Why not imitate the best?

Your Score:

80 - 100 You’re on the road to finding a satisfying and fulfilling life and career. Taking charge, being responsible, and action orientation is your commitments. Beware of the pot holes and detours on your journey. Keeping focused on your commitment and accountability to yourself will help.

50 - 79 You’re in the most perilous situation—things don’t seem exactly right but they are not bad enough to take action. You’re a passenger in a vehicle on cruise control. It’s time to get into a new vehicle, take over the drivers seat and steer your own life.

Below 50 You’re not too happy with your life/situation. You feel entitled and you’re waiting for something to change, someone to help. Sorry, there is no Santa Claus. The decision is your—keep floating and feeling like a victim or take charge.

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