While finishing the preparation for my upcoming book, Be an Inspirational Leader: Engage, Inspire, Empower, I’ve been reminded of the truth that words without action are useless. As American literary figure Ralph Waldo Emerson so eloquently stated, “What you do speaks so loud that I cannot hear what you say.”
This is so incredibly important for leaders to understand. Words are rendered useless and become obsolete when not supported by action. You can read all the books, learn the right things to do, attend leadership meetings, and say all the right things—but, if this verbal montage of leadership excellence is not accompanied by visible action, you lose your credibility and the respect of your team.
While this is such a simple concept, it is easily forgotten. With every leadership position I have been honored to hold, I have been aware of the correlation and have strived to be as concerned with my actions as the words leading to them. Don’t just learn what to say as a leader. Learn how to take action. Because when these two meet, true leadership is born.
4 Things to Consider
- Be Aware of Your Words: With any task, the first step is acknowledgement. The first way to make sure your actions follow your words is to know exactly what you are saying.
- Be Honest: There is a transparency that comes with honesty. When you are speaking from the heart, your actions easily fall into place after. When you are not honest with yourself or your team, it is easy to have misplaced actions.
- Be Mindful of Your Limitations: If you know you won’t be able to do it, do not say it. Continuous empty promises do not encourage trust in a leader and undermine your authority. Don’t fall prey to pleasing in the short term with words only to not produce results in the long-term.
- Less is More: Sometimes it’s best to not say anything at all. Be as intentional with your words as you will be with the actions to follow.
Too many leaders have been torn down because their actions did not match their words. This intentionality is necessary to truly develop as a leader and to truly engage, inspire, and empower those you lead. I would encourage you today to very carefully consider your words and actions. Do they align? Are you fostering a community of trust and respect in your organization?
Copyright © 2016 by Dan Nielsen – www.americashealthcareleaders.com