Gabrielle Dolan did a session on story telling in the corporate environment. One of her examples that resonated the most was the story about people following the leaders example.
Andrew Thorburn – CEO of NAB – tells this story. ”
He was teaching his teenage son how to drive a car. At one point in this journey, his son flicked on the indicator and then immediately changed lanes. At that point, Andrew said to his son… “mate, the purpose of the indicator is to give cars warning that you are about to turn or change lanes, you need to have some time between putting the indicator on and making the turn”… Andrew’s son, turn around to him and said ” but dad, I just did what you do”…
This story highlights strongly how the WORDS and ACTIONS need to be the same”.
This is incredably true of leaders. If you are saying “we want to innovate”, but don’t allocate any resources you aren’t aligned, if you say to your staff “take some risks”, but you punish them for failure you are not aligned…. there is a jarring juxtaposition that your staff will know and respond accordingly toward…
If you are saying we value our people and you invest in culture, training and development, then you are aligned. If you say that underpeformance won’t be tolerated and you deal with it, you are aligned.
One of these positions is powerful, it’s clear and consistent, it brings your staff with you as you go at hard tasks.
So, are your words and actions aligned?