What’s the difference between doing something and doing something well? What is the variable that takes implementation and turns it into excellence?

If you were to brainstorm a list to answer those two questions, it might take a while. However, there is one force that propels us from good to great: commitment.

I often quote my good friend and colleague Andre Wicks with the title of this column. Our beliefs, and our subsequent level of commitment to enacting anything with the full force of our energy, determine our outcomes. Consider this scale of commitment:

Level 1: Hoping something bad doesn’t happen

Level 2: Hoping something good happens

Level 3: Wanting something to happen

Level 4: Working towards making it happen

Level 5: Fully committing to achieve excellence

As a practitioner, where would you have the most success? As a leader, what level of commitment are you modeling? What are you doing to inspire your stakeholders to fully commit to certain outcomes? How are you compelling folks to be all-in?

Level 5 commitment isn’t something that just appears, and it’s not easy to maintain. By connecting a clear purpose with a clear action plan, and by focusing relentlessly on agreed-upon outcomes, we can recruit that commitment. We can move from good to great.

Pete Hall is an educational consultant, former award-winning principal, speaker, and author of four books (including Lead On! Motivational lessons for school leaders (Eye on Education, 2011) and Teach, Reflect, Learn: Building your capacity for success in the classroom (ASCD, 2015). He shares his perspectives in 212-word entries every month or so. He can be reached for speaking engagements, professional development, or other queries at petehall@educationhall.com.