We’ve all heard the saying, “actions speak louder than words”. Most of us would agree that this statement is certainly true. What we DO says more about our priorities than what we SAY. Our actions represent our values. However, it is common for leaders to say one thing and do another. We may believe that if we say it enough times, it will become true for our companies or organizations.
Don’t Listen to What I Say – Watch What I Do
As leaders, all of us have routines. These routines are essentially habits that we have developed over time that represent the values we hold for our organization. As a former school administrator, it was common for me and my peers to say that we valued the work of classroom teachers and their important role in each classroom. Yet when you looked at the daily routines of a school administrator, too often the actions (classroom visits) did not represent their words (teachers are important).
Model What You Mean
How about you? What do you SAY about your organization? Do you tout the talents of your employees? Do you emphasize the importance of customer relations? More importantly, do your ACTIONS match the WORDS that you speak about your organization. Would a glimpse into your daily calendar be a reflection of your priorities for your organization? A leader’s credibility will be largely based on his/her ability to model what you mean with your words.
As if this isn’t compelling enough on its own, you can extend the same philosophy to our family lives. We would all profess our love for our family members, but do our actions match our words? Do we have a healthy work-life balance? Do we come home ready to be a positive contributor to our families?
Make Them Match
In order for a leader to be successful in his/her personal and professional life, the trust of your employees or family members must be earned. Trust is earned through a consistency between a leader’s words and actions. As you speak about your priorities (personal or professional) make sure your actions are synonymous with your words.