Leader Quality: Walks the Talk

duck-aim-shinfield3Research shows there are 11 key Leader Qualities with one having a sub-set of 8 characteristics. Of the 19 Leader Qualities, 7 of them are ‘Trust Factors’. These are listed again below, together with a fuller description for Trust Factor: Walks the Talk.The Trust Factor Leader Qualities are:

  1. Reliable & Consistent
  2. Accepts responsibility
  3. Discrete
  4. Walks the talk
  5. Authentic
  6. Supportive of individuals
  7. Interested in individuals.

Trust Factors are special because any lapse in these Leader Traits may lead to intractable relationship- and performance- issues for the leader, their team and those interacting with them.

Walks the Talk

We rightly deride politicians. They talk about environmental concerns but travel in limousines and helicopters; they talk about the value of family and are caught out having affairs. The errors that we make may not be as monumentally corrupt as politicians, but our own grapevine is just as effective if we too exist from the philosophy of ‘my rules for you, and my different rules for me’.

Organizations are sometimes led by people who expect a different set of behaviors (from others) than they are willing to exemplify themselves. There are exceptions. MacDonalds food chain requires management at all levels to serve at the retail-counters and to gain from regular exposure to front-line staff and customers. Walking the Talk builds confidence in people around you. But, to be known as someone who ‘Walks the Talk’, we need to be accessible to colleagues at all levels, Avoid:

  • Eating in private dining rooms far from the canteens
  • Having Executive buildings, car-parks and private suites
  • Replacing executive cars when others are feeling the pinch.

To a lesser extent, managers lower down the organization can also suffer from the same process of diminishing impact if they do not understand the necessity to be seen and accessible at all levels.

Let’s assume that you are cost-cutting in your area. What cuts will you make overt in your own office? Let’s imagine that you have tasked all your people to bring more added-value to their activities. What added value will you bring and how will you make that obvious to them?

These arguments may seem facile but, they carry great impact. Asking others to go through arduous processes without attending to the same criteria yourself, will not win adherence and loyalty. Walking the Talk does.

Interesting? Schedule a Conversation with Angus McLeod.

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