People are looking to leaders to “walk their walk” and to be committed to honoring what they say. Especially today the value of your word is more important now than ever as communities and employees are looking for substantive social changes. So when you say something, people are looking for that to be mirrored in what you do substantively. It’s easy to talk, it’s not so easy to take action.
My client, Bill shared that the most senior level leader in the company sent out a company wide email to their teams saying that since everyone is working home with competing and shifting personal and professional demands, there is a no meeting after 5:30pm policy. Bill shared that shortly after the email was sent, emails were popping up requesting meetings with him for 5:30pm and 6pm. He was confused. If he was asked and even mandated not to have scheduled meetings post 5:30 and 6pm what was going on?
When he inquired further, the reaction was not surprising to him. People rolled their eyes or said, “you know the way things work around here”, or “it’s not surprising to me, especially given who the invite came from.”
When you make a promise or a commitment or make a statement of declaration, I call that “giving your word.” People rely on this. When you become known as someone who honors their word, meaning you do what you say, there is trust, respect and safety that comes with that.
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If you are a leader who is focused on developing and building a strong culture – one that is fortified with trust, respect and safety, you must examine your actions. What culture really means and describes is the actions that you are taking, not the words that you are saying. Creating lofty statements that go out to your organization is one thing; living according to those statements is far more challenging.
As a leader, consider what you are committing to. What are you giving your word to as expressed in language – specifically? Are you honoring your word or stepping over it? If you are unsure, ask people you know and trust for their insights.
By being a leader who honors their word you tell people by your actions that when you are partnering with me, I will do what I say I will do and I am reliable and dependable. That creates an environment of trust, respect and safety AND also one of accountability and inspiration. If you are interested in digging deeper in what we talked about, the best next step is to fill out our Needs Assessment. I’ll be happy to connect with you. And remember…Better Leaders, Better People, Better Results.