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  • Shalabh Capoor


Updated: Aug 3, 2020

What is dedication?

Dedication means being totally devoted to a particular course of action or thought. It means working for a cause and

It means “Working for a cause and binding oneself (intellectually and emotionally to a course of action.”

Lord Buddha, known for his dedication, has given the all important message which says “You must discover your world and then with all your heart give yourself to it.”

It is “loving something totally and doing whatever is required to keep trying to reach that goal”.

Why Dedication??

It is the most important attribute needed to do a job well. It is the attribute that transforms possibility into reality and generates conviction for accomplishing even a seemingly impossible goal.

It produces a tremendous amount of energy and rewards one with a deep sense of fulfilment, significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride and challenge.

It is born out of introspection and our decision about what we wish to pursue and so is not affected by external factors such as likes or dislikes of others or the worries of what people may think of us.

In an organisation a group of dedicated employees can transform the organisation converting opportunities into achievements helping the organisation script a story of sustained successes.

Dedication: The Third ‘D’ of Success:

"I know the price of success:

dedication, hard work, and an unremitting devotion

to the things you want to see happen."

~ Frank Lloyd Wright

To script a success story we need to have three Ds which are the mantras for achieving our goals. These 3Ds work in unison and equip us to follow our passion and achieve desired results.

These ‘Ds’ cover thoughts, Action and Efforts and provide us the guidance to realise our goals.

These three Ds are:

a. Dedication

b. Determination

c. Discipline

All the three Ds are preceded by a fourth ‘D’, ‘Desire’ which is the starting point of the journey to success. Only when we define what we want to achieve then we embark on the road to success.

The desire must be strong enough for us to pitch everything behind achieving it as that shall define the intensity of our involvement. Only when we have decided that our desire is what we want to achieve at any cost shall we be able to immerse ourselves in the efforts to achieve it.

The three Ds address three different dimensions which together ensure success in our endeavours.

a. Dedication:

Dedication is the passion which spells the intensity of our efforts. It is the driving force which comes from our belief that the desired outcome is what we want to achieve at every price and provides us the energy to maintain our efforts in that direction.

b. Determination:

Determination is the engine or momentum which we need to achieve our goal. It is not affected by any shortcomings of a person whether they are physical or mental. It symbolises the perseverance that we need to have to pursue our goals even in the face of many adversities.

c. Discipline:

Discipline is the force that transforms possibilities into realities. Backed by the conviction and single minded pursuit it is the execution part of the effort which envelops a relentless sustained effort leading to the path of success. It gives shape to the thought process which gradually makes us inch towards the finish line.

As Vince Lombardi has written

“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.”

These three Ds make a perfect mix of Beliefs, thoughts and Actions and help make us realise our potential and go for the target and when it is achieved it justifiably gives an immense feeling of achievement, a sense of pride in having accomplished our goal and most importantly enhances our self-esteem.

How different is Dedication from Commitment or are they synonyms. No they are different.

Commitment & Dedication:

Commitment is Contractual. It involves a promise and a bond. It means a person is bounded by a contract to deliver something. It is equivalent to a person taking a pledge to complete a job.

Commitment is inhibiting as it restricts the extent of outcome to only that which has been contracted. It is to be honoured even if there are adverse situations since it has been agreed upon.

Dedication means devoting oneself whole heartedly for achieving a task without getting into contract. It is not working under duress or under the pressure of delivering an agreed result rather it is taking upon oneself the onus of achieving the result and making persistent wholehearted efforts towards the goal. It is an unwritten commitment to achieve the desired outcome totally driven by internal desires.

While they are different they both require total enthusiasm and passion for accomplishing the task completing the work and primarily come from inside a person.

u Attributes required for Dedication:

Is everyone dedicated or are there any attributes that help achieving dedication. Yes there are. Some of these are:

a. Conviction of the Right Goal:

A dedicated person believes that the goal that he has desired for himself is the right one. This conviction is necessary to channelize efforts and resources.

b. A high energy Level:

Perseverance and maintaining a high energy level and follow the task assiduously is what is required for completing a task. One has to be at it despite all odds and keep up the momentum which is only possible if the person has high energy level.

c. Belief in Self:

Another attribute which is absolutely necessary for dedication is have belief in one’s ability and the necessary confidence to carry out the task under daunting circumstances. Only those persons who have belief in their abilities can pursue their goals relentlessly achieving success in the end.

Above all it depends upon the mental make-up that one has acquired right from childhood that makes a person dedicated. A person having been brought up in circumstances where meeting commitment and remaining focussed in achieving a task is practised is likely to be more dedicated.

Can Dedication be inculcated?

One point that has been debated many times is whether it is possible to inculcate dedication in a person or does it only result from family circumstances and the type of upbringing that governs the extent of dedication. Many believe that it can’t be inculcated but the presence of certain factors does impact conviction of persons in adopting some behavioural traits which may lead to dedicated efforts. Some of the facilitating factors that may help in reinforcing dedication are:

a. Organisation Culture:

An organisation where the importance of meeting commitments is emphasized as well as practiced helps generate conviction in the minds of its employees about merits of being dedicated. A suitable reward structure also reinforces this sentiment.

b. Tolerance to Failures:

A higher level of tolerance to failures also helps in reinforcing the feeling that it is important to pursue ones goals wholeheartedly even if sometimes the results are not as per one’s expectations. Such behaviour encourages risk taking and helps employees set stretch targets for themselves which they try to pursue with full rigour.

c. Practiced Behaviour of Leadership:

Another important ingredient which cements the virtue of dedication in the minds of employees is the behaviour demonstrated by the leadership. If they see their leaders’ efforts and perseverance in trying to achieve business objectives they too will be favourably inclined to adopt that type of behaviour which will help generate conviction about positive outcomes of a dedicated effort.

Also important is the recognition which the employees get for dedicated efforts, If they experience partisan attitudes in the reward process then the conviction that hard work pays gets diluted. So an important part of demonstrated Leadership behaviour is also to accord due timely recognition to dedicated employees.

In all the extent of dedication in individuals is largely governed by experiences of the formative years but it can definitely be positively reinforced in a nurturing and development oriented organisational climate.

Some Words of Wisdom

1) Thomas A. Edison:

“Genius is 1 percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration.”

2) Irvin Stone:

“Talent is cheap; dedication is expensive. It will cost you your life.”

3) Hyman G. Rickover:

“When doing a job – any job – one must feel that he owns it, and act as though he will remain in that job forever.”

4) Habeeb Akande:

“Keep your standards even when everyone around you is losing theirs.”

5) Steve Jobs:

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.”

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