Byron's Babbles

Walk The Walk

IMG_1878Last evening I was having a conversation with one of our teacher leaders and we were talking about leaders who do not follow through, who are always “checking on it,” “thinking about it,” or are always “working on it.” I also explained I had been in a meeting this past week where a person said, “I’m a visionary – I want nothing to do with execution or implementation!” Are you serious, I thought! The person went on to say, “I hate execution and implementation!” Are you kidding me! That’s the fun part. The world has way to many of these, so called “big thinkers” who have no clue how nor the grit to implement. The world does not need anymore of these people! I say we need more of people who are willing to be the “Deer in the Headlights” and I blogged about it here. The world needs more of my hero, Thomas Edison. He was visionary and innovative, but was also a creator, inventor, and implementation expert. In other words we need more people who can “walk the walk.” In fact we talked about this last fall in one of our Focused Leader Academy sessions.photo

The teacher leader I was having this discussion with is a great idea generator who also knows how to put a plan in action. We discussed how I really have come to the conclusion that the picture I most adore in my office that has penguins and says “Walk the Talk” is probably incorrect and should say “Walk the Walk.” Think about this: do I really need to talk if I am walking my and the organization I serve core values? Honestly, we, myself included, probably do too much talking and just need to do more walking. People will witness our actions and values and not need to be told about them. In other words, our behavior and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations we have for those we lead, our colleagues, and organization.

“Innovation is rewarded, execution is worshipped.”

Let me be clear here, however, this does not mean I believe we don’t need thought leaders. We do. But… we need thought leaders that can turn those thoughts into reality. Many times a leader is ineffectual because she knows how to bark out ideas and orders, but is not able to explain, in language that is unique to her field and compelling to her colleagues or customers. This comes down to being able to explain the “why” what the team needs to do matters and how she expects the team to win. It has been said that great leaders think differently and invariably talk differently, as well. I am arguing here that great leaders also need to act differently. And… by act I mean it in the truest sense of the verb – do something about the talk. That is really what those we lead want is someone who gets things done.

In closing, remember this, authentic leaders must share the struggles and risks that we demand of our people. Furthermore, a leader’s actions must consistently reinforce the most important core values we hold up for our companies, organizations or movements. Don’t forget, innovation is rewarded and execution is worshipped. Go implement!

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  1. Moments of Truth | Byron's Babbles said, on February 20, 2016 at 3:16 pm

    […] I just blogged about “Walking the Walk” and ” Walking the Talk” just before reading Lesson #26 in The Disciplined Leader […]

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