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Walking the Walk and Talking the Talk


Karen Sherratt on July 4, 2012 in Advice for Business Owners

When I read “Recover Your Credibility” in the July issue of Harvard Business Review, it resonated with me and I thought I would share with you. 

In the article, author Prasad Kaipa stated, “Not long ago, I called a friend of mine who had promised to help me with a project. He was very sincere when he offered his help, so I assumed that he would return my phone call soon enough for me to get on with the next steps. After two more messages and a conversation, I realized that he had moved on and did not have time or inclination to work on the project anymore. When I mentioned this disappointment to my family, my children reminded me that I don't always keep my word to them. My inability to quickly return their phone calls, to be on time to meet with them, or to get ready on time when we are going for family outings are a few of the circumstances where I failed to keep my word. Ultimately, how can I feel disappointed about somebody else not keeping their word if I can't even keep my own?” 

How often have employees and employers said things, but don’t follow through?  Employers need to be credible to their employees so that they perform at their highest level and employees need to be credible to their employers so that they develop the trust.  Credibility is the barometer by which others judge you and by extension, your company.  To maintain credibility you have to effectively manage expectations, those of your employees, investors, suppliers and customers.  I’ve read that it may be the most important aspect of effective leadership.  A recent quote from The Disney Institute probably said it the best – “We judge ourselves by our intentions.  Others judge us by our actions”.