There is one statement that validates your integrity when stated by another, and we have all heard it before: “He really walks the talk.” Sure, it’s a statement of personal alignment – that your actions match your words. Unfortunately, in today’s world of loose-lipped leaders in all arenas, talk has become quite cheap. So, we are well advised to listen to an old Chrysler ad, “The strongest statements are made without saying a word.”
Modeling ethical, values-based behavior creates an infinitely more positive impact than just talking about them. While your team (and your children) will not always mimic your words, they will naturally and predictably walk in your path.
Our educational and reward systems reinforce the misperception that the higher you progress in an organization, the more you must present ideas, speak up, direct, be heard by others. However, excellent leaders learn to listen up – listen for ideas, problems, concerns, needs. They know why God gave them two ears and one mouth.
St. Francis of Assisi said, “Preach the gospel always. If necessary, use words.” I challenge you to do the same in your leadership role – whether you lead a team at work, at home or in the community. Lead the way for your team, and use words only if necessary. In short, walk your walk.
“Leadership Matters is full of simple truths that everybody can use in their work and life. Read this little book and thoroughly consider its timeless messages. It will make you a better leader and a better person.”
Co-author, The One Minute Manager and Great Leaders Grow