How to Motivate Others to Commit

Frustrated leaders ask, “How can I convince others to do what I want them to do?”

Why is commitment so low?

birds fighting


Reluctance to commit is natural and healthy. Overcoming reluctance is part of leadership. The key issues of motivating people to commit are internal.

People do what they want, not what you want.


You can push weak, needy, or fragile people into conformity. But, once you push someone, you have to keep pushing.

Conformity isn’t commitment.

Think of your own experience. What do you do when you’re pushed? If you conform, it’s often due to fear.


You commit for your reasons, not theirs.

How do you respond when someone asks you to commit to something?

7 questions:

When someone asks you to commit to something, you ask yourself questions. It’s the way you justify saying yes or no.

  1. Does it matter?
  2. Do I want to?
  3. Can I make meaningful contribution?
  4. Am I happy with what I’m currently doing?
  5. Do I have time and resources?
  6. How long is the commitment?
  7. Will I enjoy it?

Bonus: What’s the win?


Your vision of the future is great, but if you don’t answer their questions, people won’t commit. They hold back if it doesn’t matter to them.

Stop talking to them like they are you.

The issue is their motivation, not yours. Speak to their values, drives, and questions.

You don’t convince. They convince themselves.


The days of “commanding commitment” are coming to an end.

The most important aspect of calling for commitment is understanding others. Find alignment between what they want and what you want. Forced conformity may work for awhile.

Successful motivators become absorbed with others, not themselves.

What questions do you need answered before you commit to new projects, programs, or initiatives?