"The difference between involvement and commitment is like ham and eggs. The chicken is involved; the pig is committed."

The other aphorism that comes to mind is “having skin in the game.”  We are talking about a level of commitment that looks more like ownership.  Continuing on with Lencioni’s Five Dysfunctions of a Team, the third is lack of commitment.

1. Absence of trust

2. Fear of conflict

3. Lack of commitment

The ability to trust that being honest or vulnerable is okay leads to the opportunity for healthy conflict. Voicing even dissenting opinions in an appropriate way without fear leads to better solutions and the ability to commit to decisions made, even when they are different than your own.  Remember that quote from the guy in the last post?

I feel like they are genuinely interested in hearing my opinion.  And because I trust and respect them, even when they decide differently from the way I wanted, I can support the decision.

Without having aired their opinions in the course of a passionate and open debate, team members rarely, if ever, buy into and commit to the decisions made.

Here is a simple test.  Ask yourself a couple of questions: 

Do you feel like you are constantly dragging and pulling your team in terms of accomplishing what you think you have all agreed to?

Does it feel like no one else is really interested in achieving the goals you’ve set?  That you are the only one who really cares?

If you answer to either of the above questions was “yes”, why do think that is the case?

In our experience, decisions made by senior management rarely elicit the true input of team members and don’t have near the level of perceived commitment from that team.  

And we get it.  

They work for you.  

You are paying their salary, for goodness sake.

On some level, they should just enthusiastically do whatever you’ve directed them to do for the money you are paying them.  We agree.  Interestingly enough, however, determining a solution on your own and demanding execution:

  • doesn't produce the best solution
  • doesn't build a sense of ownership and commitment
  • won’t get you there as well or as fast

This is why we are so committed to the idea of owner-to-team-conversion.  The team leadership of companies.  

The reason we encourage the things we do is that we want you to get to where you want to go.  To get there sooner, faster, and with the feeling that you have the buy-in and commitment of the entire team along for the journey.

We don’t want you to survive, we want you to thrive.  Having a lack of commitment from your team is one of the biggest stumbling blocks.


  • Are your employees really clear on what you want them to do?
  • Do they attack appointed tasks with enthusiasm and a high level of commitment?
  • Do you feel like nothing ever gets done unless you are constantly driving the tasks and staying on top of them?
  • How much do you think your team’s level of commitment is the culprit?