​​COMMITMENT
  • Keeping promises while facing challenges or the temptation of an easier path
     
  • Seeing something through to the end and keeping the right attitude about it
     
  • Honoring my responsibilities with diligence, even when it requires sacrifice
COMMENTARY
The annual E-rate filing window closed just a couple of weeks ago, but memories of the event still linger. For many of us at Funds For Learning, the week of the filing window requires the most commitment – in regards to time, energy and patience – out of all other weeks during the Funding Year. Long nights of working diligently, limitless phone calls and emails to clients spanning all U.S. time zones, and the occasional panic attack when EPC is experiencing high server loads and locks out all users trying to log in, that tests the commitment and endurance of all at FFL. 

But we always stick with it. 

The daunting filing window deadline is a perfect situation for each core thought for the GuideMark this week. Keeping promises while facing challenges, following through to the end and sacrificing to honor responsibilities becomes more prevalent as the deadline approaches each year, but commitment is more than a week-long value for us. 

I personally see commitment come to life in my work every single day. The time it takes to prepare an agenda for a conference/check-in call, lead the discussion, create and send note, make a to-do list of action items that came up during the call and start working on that list can easily take up much of my time. However, that one series of events is multiplied by dozens of individual clients. 

With the constant flow of information going in and out of my email and phone, I choose to renew my commitment to each client every day. Each school and library is unique and I have the responsibility to treat each one with the same focus, attitude and commitment as I do the others. This can be challenging, and certainly tests one’s ability to see something through to the end. 

Commitment itself can have a negative connotation as it makes some feel hesitant or nauseated, but commitment is also very rewarding. Keeping up the camaraderie and commitment in the office gives those of us at FFL a feeling of trust and satisfaction at the end of the day, especially minutes after the filing window closes. Maintaining commitment during a relationship with a client rewards both parties with feelings of satisfaction after Forms 471 are certified and funds are disbursed, as well as bonds of friendship as both sides tackle the ups and downs that come with seeing something through to the end. 

I encourage others not to overlook the value of commitment in day-to-day responsibilities or when working to bring a team closer together. Commitment is often the glue that keeps us together. Be influential, be the glue!

Key words and phrases
Sticking with it; Faithfulness; Worthy of trust; Diligent and reliable; Dedication to a pledge; Dependable Sacrifice to keep a promise; Taking ownership of a situation

Opposite terms
Not finishing the job; Undependable; Not worthy of trust; Wishy-washy

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GuideMarks – Distinguishing Characteristics of FFL E-rate Guides

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