WALK YOUR TALK

Posted on August 2, 2020 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

To walk the talk means to do what one said one could do or would do, not just making empty promises. To do things consistent with what one claims. This phrase indicates that failing to match behaviour with talk results in loss of credibility and trust.

Rarely can you make an effective argument just by talking. The way to convince people of your point of view is to live that point of view.

Live what you believe, day in and day out. No amount of scolding or cajoling or persuasive rhetoric can equal that.

If you have trouble getting people to believe you or take you seriously, it is probably because your actions do not completely agree with your words. Do what you say, consistently, without fail, and your credibility will grow.

Rather than explain how much you care; show how much you care. Connect with others on a personal level, and be of genuine service.

The most persuasive way to talk is to walk your talk. Let your actions and the way you live your life demonstrate who you are.

What you say can make a big difference, but only if it is fully supported by what you do. Walk your talk, and both your walking and your talking will get great things done.

The essential rules to ensure that you always walk your talk are:

Choose the True You Over the Expectations of Others

What do people expect of you?

This is an important question in that more often than not you get defined and confined or boxed in, by the expectations that others place on you based on their perception of who you are.

Problems occur when you buy into someone else’s perception of who you are and/or what you can do.

You are in essence walking someone else’s talk.

If you are indeed letting others define you, then you have to find your own voice, no matter the risk.

When I talk about risk, I am referring to how people may react when you step forward to assert your real self. Some might be fully supportive, while others will resist changing their long-held beliefs as to who they think you are.

In this latter instance, you must stand firm, because anyone who does not support the real you, are doing so for their own purposes and best interests – not yours.

In the end, when you embrace the real you, you will not only become free to accomplish more within the framework of your own abilities and expectations, you will achieve a true alignment between what you say and what you do.

Speak Your Mind

How many times have you remained silent against your better judgement?

How did it make you feel?

A long time ago, a dear friend’s father offered the following advice that has stayed with me to this day . . . say what you mean, and mean what you say.

Within these simple words is a powerful truth. You cannot walk your talk if you do not talk about the talk.

The fact is, it takes courage to speak your mind. It is like telling the emperor they are not wearing any clothes. You might be criticized for breaking from the pack of bobble-head consensus. Depending on the culture of your organization, you might be ostracized or, in the worst-case scenario, fired.

However, and this is a possibility as well, you might also be applauded for your willingness to stand by your convictions, and state your beliefs in a sincere and confident manner. I have seen people gain promotion by expressing their honest opinion.

Think about this last point for just a moment. I can only wonder what the emperor in the classic tale said to his “trusted,” high-level advisers back at the castle when he returned from his public humiliation. What do you think he said?

The point is, whatever the outcome, being known as a person who tells it like it is with both humility and integrity, will inevitably make you a valued member of any organization committed to excellence and success.

Of even greater importance, it will ensure the continuous alignment of your actions with your words, and with it your credibility.

Embrace Your Own Version Of Forest Gump

Have you ever seen the movie, Forest Gump?

The premise is wonderfully simple and sentimental.

Gump is a man who goes through life riding the waves of the changing fortunes of a chaotic world, in complete innocence. He is oblivious to his presence and impact on history’s greatest events. His success in life is based on his surrendering to circumstances as opposed to managing them.

In today’s fast-paced, hard-driving business world, such sentiments are not only frowned upon but usually subject to derision. After all, you make your own luck through hard work and intense planning. You do not get to where you want to go, based on being a feather in the wind.

But here is the thing . . . Gump was being true to who he was.

He was not trying to manipulate situations or for that matter himself, to fit a particular event.

Gump was just . . . Gump.

Very often, your talk can be challenged by circumstances. While I am not suggesting that you become inflexible in the face of needed change, you should also never compromise in terms of being your authentic self.

That is precisely why you have to steadfast as a leader to not get caught up in your own hype and to focus on always doing exactly what you say to people. There are many reasons why this is so important, but here are a few of the most important reasons why we as leaders cannot allow ourselves to be labeled as talkers.

Productivity: The second your employees get wind that you do not do what you say you will, you can bet that their sense of urgency dwindles.

Morale: Along with your productivity, you can count on lower morale. When your team becomes aware that you are not who you say you are or at least are not doing what you say you will do, it is a spirit breaker.

Trust: The single most important ingredient to successful leadership. All of the skills, experience, and even results go out the window when trust is lost. And in the eyes of most people, a lie is a lie, and when you make commitments and do not see them through. Trust is lost and the dominos will fall fast once that happens.

Maybe this is you? And if not, kudos! However, if you are a mistake-prone human (all of us are) then maybe a few times in your career you have greatly over-promised and grossly under-delivered. I would even be willing to bet that the intention was not to deceive, but nonetheless the damage is done.

But this can be reversed. Not instantly, but with a little work, this can be overcome. Here is what is being recommended:-

Admission: Face your teams and acknowledge the mistake. Too often leaders want to run and/or hide from their mistakes. Do not make excuses, but be clear that you recognize where you went wrong.

Genuine Apology: Do not double up on the first mistake by offering a less than a genuine apology. Being sorry is not an admission of defeat. It revisits the human aspect that whether you are a front-line manager or a chief executive that people screw up for a plethora of reasons. You are no different.

Request Support: It is a great start to admit your mistakes and apologize. This should bring all but your fiercest critics back to the table. But at this point, you have to be clear in asking for support moving forward. Recognize that the first two steps have not guaranteed you anything, so you have to ask for their commitment going forward. This in exchange for your commitment to walk the talk moving forward.

Action Plan: Now what? You have eaten your crow and you are ready to get back in the game. This is where you remember; YOUR ROLE is to lead. So, let everyone know what will be done now and why you are confident it is the right course of action.

While nothing is certain, what you can say with confidence is that If you follow these steps, you have a strong chance of getting the ship back on course after one of these transgressions. If you choose to ignore it or aimlessly work through the situation, do not be surprised if things do not get better.

Many people are smarter than you think, so do not underestimate them!

And about the company, you worked for and with the “All Talk CEO.” Let us just say you did not stay with the organization for too long. You do not doubt that he recognized some of the errors in his way, but he never faced them. It seemed like his ego would not let him. Which is why you cannot have a great ego and be a great leader.

You should decide to take the experience and learn from it. Not to say I have not overshot and missed, but when I have, I am the first to take notice and follow the protocols to regain the trust and support of my team.

To walk your talk – to really walk your talk, you must always remain true to who you are, and for what you stand.

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.Natural memory enhancer