Can your friends and business colleagues say that you walk your talk?
I had this quote on my refrigerator for quite some time as a reminder to me to be consistent.
This message means: Be who you say you are at all times, in public and in private. Be a walking example of the philosophy you expound, not just sometimes but at all times. If you say you are an honest person, be scrupulously so. You know what I mean...don't cheat anyone when it comes to money, to work done, to pulling your weight, to taking responsibility, to gossiping.
Others are watching and listening. They notice when we don't live up to what we say we believe in. It's a matter of integrity. I heard a woman recently promote her acrylic nail and manicure business at a networking evening. I was sitting next to her and glanced at her fingernails. They were short, unattractive and completely different to what I expected. If you say you are good at doing other's fingernails you had better be the best living example around.
I have heard salesmen describe the golden rules of giving good customer service and then have seen them treat clients with disdain. I have noticed a man telling his boss what a dedicated employee he is but I know that he steals stationery from the company.
Walking your talk is a matter of having integrity. Of course we are tested on this. I often think we have the equivalent of a line in the sand to negotiate each day. On one side of the line is our list of what we stand for. On the other side is the ocean. Small and large waves can roll in and wash away our line and our good intentions very quickly.
Each situation, personally and in business, calls for us to be on the dry side of our line in the sand. Position the line so that this is possible. If you know that you are too close to the vagaries of life and the ocean, move your beliefs to firmer and dryer land. When the waves of temptation assail us, and they will, stand firm.
If it means saying "no" to money, power, influence or offered friendship which have their foundations in wet sand, know that a day of reckoning has arrived.
I can assure you it is much easier to walk your talk than not. Then and only then are you authentic. You don't need to live a lie. You don't need to remember the complexities of your lie. You don't need to make excuses. What you say and what you do will be easy. It will be automatic. It will give you a sense of pride and deep satisfaction.
Live up to what you say you believe in and be a living, breathing, walking example of the best of you, always.
If you don't take control of your life, don't complain when others do. - Beth Mende Conny
Joseph taking a stand against the Bobcat from taking the sand away at Cromer Golf Course - June 2009