I’ve always found it inspiring when couples take the time to renew their vows to each other. It’s their way of saying, after all, we’ve been through together, you and I, we can carve out this moment to remind each other of our mutual love, our devotion, our commitment, and to reaffirm that we still mean it.
The dictionary defines “vow” like this: “a solemn promise, or a set of promises committing one to a prescribed role, calling or course of action.” But here’s the thing: I never hear of people renewing vows to themselves and to their teams. Now, for many of us, there’s nothing to renew because we never made a conscious vow to begin with. Have you ever made a vow to yourself? It’s a powerful idea, particularly in these challenging times. So, I’m going to ask you to think about it and ultimately write your personal Extreme Leadership vow, a commitment that you’re making to yourself and to your team. It’s a pretty personal thing to do, so I’ll tell you what, I’ll go first. Here’s my personal Extreme Leadership vow.
“As of now, I take up a calling rooted in love to transform the particulars of my life. From this day forward I will, with every bit of energy and audacity that I can muster, approach my relationships, my work, and my activities with the expressed intent of changing everything I touch for the better. The proof of my success will be the legacy that I leave, the imprint that I make and the people that I boost up along the way. From time to time, if I fall short of the mark or even fail completely, I won’t have the slightest residue of regret because my intent will always be noble. I will leap, and it will be exhilarating.”
Thank you for letting me share that with you, but keep in mind that I’m a writer and a little bit of a poet, perhaps. Your personal vow is going to sound a lot different because it will be in your own voice.
The key isn’t to write the perfect sounding vow, but it needs to be real and authentic and come from your heart. Now, it’s your turn.
Try writing your personal vow. And first, see if it makes you feel and act differently, even just by writing it and reading it to yourself. And then if you really want to go deep with your team, and I hope you do, have everyone on your team or in your company, depending on the context, write their own vows and then sit down together and read them to one another.
And the first thing you’re going to want to do is to see if your vow passes the “snicker test.” When people listen to your vow, do they find it inspiring, or do they snicker and roll their eyes? That would be a clue that you have a little bit of work to do on your own credibility, but it’s good feedback to get.
After the vows have been read aloud, each team member then tells the team what they need to be supported in accomplishing their vow. In this way, the individual vows can evolve into a collective vow. It becomes a declaration of what the team or the company stands for.
Now, if you’re thinking this is all a bit too touchy-feely for business, you might be surprised to know that some of the most successful and forward-thinking companies have incorporated team vows into their culture.
There are many ways to go about this, but the key is that it’s important to make a personal commitment to your leadership growth and hold yourself accountable. It’s one way to ensure that you’re always living up to your highest potential as an individual and as a team leader. Executive leadership coaching can help with this process by providing accountability and support along the way. Take the time to reflect on what you want for yourself and your team, and make a vow that will inspire you all to reach new heights.