Hello Colleagues –

This is the first in a series of six blogs. As many of you know, I’ve designed a model called Optimistic Leadership. It involves five commitments. My colleagues encouraged me to invite conversation about each of the ideas – bit by bit.

So here’s the first – what does it mean to make a commitment?

In a recent workshop with forty early learning leaders, I posed the question, what does commitment mean to you? The answers were rich and diverse: steadfast, willingness, all in, dedication, inspired.

We laughed together when one group looked online and found this quote: Commitment is doing the thing you said you’d do long after the mood you said it in has left you.

The idea of commitment resonated for all but in different ways for each person. After sharing ideas, stories, and reflections, the group added these commitment words: goals, intention, purpose, self-awareness, and reflection.

I believe that commitment is vital if we are to achieve the high quality programs children and families deserve and that the early learning professionals deserve as well. Commitment takes effort and persistence and it is more likely to become a part of the culture of programs when it is a shared endeavor.

I also asked some friends on Facebook to comment on commitment:

Laura Lamothe: Commitment is about persistence even when facing resistance and not compromising on what you said you would do even when compromise feels like the only option.

Nichole Parks: Commitment is making a choice to identify and follow through with the steps it will take to meet an identified goal or vision.

Cate Curtis Heroman: It’s about the ability to stick with a dream for a very long time.

What does it mean to make a commitment? I think it means that you feel passionate about the issue and are willing to do the work and remain persistent even when the going gets tough.

Why do we break commitments? Perhaps we haven’t thought through what’s really involved and what it will take over time to maintain investment.

I invite you to think about the concept of commitment and how you feel about your work. Are you committed? Do you feel a sense of commitment to early learning? To your program? To your team? What would it take for you to be “all in” and fully committed to your role as an educator of young children?

Please comment here and I’ll make comments available on Facebook as well.

Commitment leads to action. Action brings your dream closer. 

Marcia Wieder