Emphatically “talk the walk” you expect from your underlings, even if you occasionally stray from it yourself. Your highest duty is to speak the standard for employees. Oh, and whoever said that actions speak louder than words has never heard me talk!
To talk the walk well, leaders must be excellent at communicating how they want their employees to act, aside from how things are done on the top floor of the building.
Sometimes, it is necessary to separate word from deed. Leaders must do what needs to be done, even if it doesn’t agree with saying what needs to be said. Don’t let your words and expectations of others get in the way of your actions as the boss.
For example, I constantly remind my employees how important it is to park at the back of the parking lot to leave the front spaces available for valued customers. Company policy is to punish violating employees by emotionally beating them with a rolled up newspaper and send them to their corner — I mean, cubicle.
I, however, am exempt from this policy. I park in the very first parking spot — nevermind that it is for the handicapped. This move gives customers the impression important BMW-driving handicapped people (with pretentious parking skills) do business here.
Fortunately, my underlings know the standard because my words have already set the much stronger example to follow.
At the end of the day, just remember it is most important to talk the walk by saying the standard, regardless of what you actually do.
W. Albert Jameson, IV
PS – Oh, and security is on the bottom floor, so I am both literally and org chart-ly above the law.
Follow-through will make or break the principles we are trying to communicate. As leaders, setting the example with our actions is much more important than telling everyone the right words. We must walk the talk, or else our talk of expectations and standards is quickly undermined by inconsistent actions.