Over commit to one thing

“Successful people have a glaring tendency to over commit,” Marshal Goldsmith.

Leaders live for opportunities. Opportunities ignite passions. As a result they may chase too many chickens at once and end up empty handed. In other words, opportunities may create over commitment. Over commitment yields mediocre results.


Get further by doing less not more.


Fail less. People remember your failures with more regularity and greater clarity than your successes. You’ll enhance your reputation and influence if you stop letting things fall through the cracks because you are over committed. Before starting something new, think stopping something old.

The question that frees you isn’t what should I do. It’s what should I stop? Courageously eliminate. Believe enough in your mission and vision to say no. Uncover and eradicate momentum killers and progress chokers.

I’m prone to over commit.  I love the heat of battle, the excitement of starting something new. Trouble is, everything I begin starves for and fractures my attention. In this case, my strength is my weakness.

People who change the game aren’t average at many things they are great at one thing. Olympic divers dive. Swimmers swim. A minuscule number of us have the gifts and tenacity to be decathletes.

Over committers are dangerous because they may feel committing to things is a virtue. They’re partially right. Committing is necessary, noble, and courageous. However, over committing may reflect neediness, lack of focus or worse, a cowardly inability to say no.

Here’s Monday mornings leadership focus. Think of things you can stop so you can move closer to overcommitting to one thing.


Why do people over commit?

What helps leaders overcome the tendency to over commit?