Let’s face it. In most areas of our lives, we behave our way into success or failure. Whether it is physical fitness, financial fitness, business and personal relationships, business and personal success, our actions determine whether or not we succeed.
If you accept that notion, then keep on reading.
Mark Peters, president of Impact Engineering Solutions says, “Passion without commitment and dedication is a wasted emotion.” Mark lives by these words in his personal and business life. What Mark is saying, very simply, is that to achieve success in any aspect of your life, you must be fully committed, dedicated and disciplined to putting forth the effort required to achieve your personal definition of success.
It’s important to understand that often times we create our own problems. There are times when business leaders within organizations simply are not achieving the level of success they are capable of achieving. It is painful to see them struggle, because the struggle is an internal one.
The passion and commitment for their work is there, but the dedication and discipline to follow through and execute on a consistent basis are not. The inconsistencies in their behaviors produce inconsistencies in the achievement of their desired results.
Behaviors and attitudes are contagious, especially when it comes from the leader. Being a business leader should suggest to us that people will follow our lead. In realizing this, it is important to demonstrate behaviors and attitudes that drive organizational success.
Remember, your team is watching. We must realize that as the leader, it is important to both demonstrate and reward behaviors that are consistent with the performance expectations you have of your team. If you lack the discipline to follow through on your commitments, your team will follow suit. If you allow members of your team to do the same, you send a strong message to the rest of the troops that suggests following through on commitments is desirable but not mandatory.
Expect passion, commitment and dedication from the team.
Last school year, my then 15-year-old son had a goal to make the junior varsity basketball team. We all knew this would be a challenge for him because he was only 5 foot, 3 inches tall at the time of tryouts. He clearly had passion, commitment and dedication as demonstrated by his behaviors that led to him making the team.
With input from a school coach, he created a personalized practice plan for himself. The key to his success, however, was that he was committed and dedicated to working his plan. He followed through and executed on everything he had outlined in his practice plan.
He proved to himself that success in life starts with true passion, a plan that supports the achievement of a specific goal, then the relentless pursuit in following through and working the plan.
Disciplined follow-through leads to success.
This is a simple concept to understand, yet many of us struggle with the discipline portion of this equation. It is not enough to just have passion. It is not enough to just have a plan.
To achieve consistent success, we must have the commitment, dedication and discipline to follow through, execute and work the plan. Business leaders and team members who demonstrate discipline in following through usually come out on top.
Philip Mydlach is the owner of Mydlach Management Advisors, a corporate planning and performance improvement consulting practice in New Berlin. He can be reached at (262-) 785-5552 or
August 20, 2004, Small Business Times, Milwaukee, WI

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Andrew Weiland
Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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