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 Lake@Work Newsletter
Walking the Talk
Posted: March 01, 2010

Supervisors simply cannot say one thing and do another and expect their leadership to work. They cannot preach the importance of returning customer phone calls but not do it themselves. They cannot emphasize punctuality at meetings but show up late. And they cannot talk about the importance of a good attitude but never have one.

Of course, walking the talk sounds like nothing more than honesty or ethics. But it also has a very practical, motivational side to it. As one person said so very well, “your walk talks and your talk talks, but your walk talks louder than your talk talks.”

Or put another way, if supervisors are not excited about what they are doing, it is a sure bet that their employees will not be excited about it either. Enthusiasm spreads from top down.

It is kind of like the three men working in a quarry, all doing the same job, but all with different bosses. The first boss did not care about anything; the second boss just wanted to put in his day’s work and get out of there; and the third boss had a vision for the work being done. When their employees were asked about their jobs, the man who worked for the first boss said all he did was lift rocks. The man who worked for the second boss said he was simply a poor man who toiled all day long, from dawn to dusk, earning a living. But the man who worked for the third boss responded with enthusiasm, saying he was building a cathedral.

Reprinted with permission from Dr. Alan Zimmerman’s Internet newsletter, the ‘Tuesday Tip.”

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