“What People say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things.” – Margaret Mead
I’m fairly confident that we’ve all met, or know, someone who falls into this category. Basically, someone whose actions don’t line up with their words. And when you hear them talk about their actions even that doesn’t line up. To hear them explain themselves you’re thinking, “Ok, that’s not what I saw or heard you say at all.” It’s really hard to trust someone like that isn’t it? I mean, you never know what to expect out of them. Except that you can’t expect them to do what they say they are going to do.
Isn’t it important that your words and your actions line up? And that when you describe to someone what you have done or will do, it is accurate and true whether good or bad? The fact is it doesn’t take long to identify those who struggle in this area.
In leadership, your ability to be believed and trusted is invaluable, even if it costs you.
Honesty and integrity are absolutely imperative to your success as a leader. And to have it, you have to pay a price. Sooner or later, doing the right thing is going to cost you. However, not doing the right thing will bring a much greater cost. It takes a lifetime of commitment to be the kind of person whom people trust and believe in. But, it doesn’t take much at all to destroy it.
So, do a self-check every once in a while. Have you found yourself trying to lesson what you did wrong? Have you suddenly realized that you just embellished the truth a little to make yourself sound better? Do you find yourself avoiding certain subjects because you feel a little guilty about something you did or said?
Hey, we all make mistakes and none of us are perfect. We all have highs and lows, good seasons and bad. So when your self-check uncovers something, find that person you trust the most that will talk straight with you and talk about what you found. Decide what you need to do to fix things or sure them up. Then recommit yourself to staying on track. Sometimes it takes a little while to regain the confidence of yourself and others but it’s well worth it.