Actions and words

Actions and words - line of people shapes with one stood in from of the others

This topic won’t be new to any of us but I want to change it up slightly by modifying a popular phrase – “do as I say, not as I do”. This quip has been around a long time and we use it to communicate that you need to do what you’ve been asked regardless of what the other person is doing.

There is truth in that and it’s a good principle. I want us to think about it in a whole new light – “do as I say AND as I do”.

It’s hard work to model a set of actions and behaviors all the time, especially in leading a team or an organization. Everyone preaches values but what do they look like in practice, in the most basic sense? How do you know that you’re living them so that others can clearly identify the values that are most important to the company? For example, anyone can be nice but to be kind requires a bit of vulnerability and going out of your way.

I’ve often said that people don’t leave companies, they leave managers.


What would happen if you focused on specific actions and behaviors for the next week in such a way that you expected your team to model them also? Would it change what you currently do?