The simple question that tests our CHARACTER every day:
“Do you walk your talk?”
Not just in the big things, the big events, the crises, the big opportunities. Those are often easier to navigate because the consequences are obvious so we give them the attention they deserve. It also helps that we usually are very aware that others are watching our response (we always behave better when the spotlight is on).
Mostly I’m referring to the little things; the hundreds of decisions we make every day as to whether we behave in accordance with our professed values and priorities.
Barriers to walking our talk are impatience, fatigue, distraction, frustration, anxiety, urgency, and many other short-term discomforts that cause us to sacrifice our integrity and reputation over the longer term.
A common excuse for this hypocrisy: “I didn’t have a choice.”
You always have a choice.
But sometimes the option to behave in accordance with our values is more discomfort than we are willing to bear. Just don’t kid yourself that you don’t have a choice.
Seth Godin defines choices as “non-obvious actions taken in obvious moments, difficult decisions that might be easier to avoid, responses instead of reactions, and most of all, the choices we make when it doesn’t even seem like we have a choice — all of these, taken together, define who we are and the impact we make. ‘I had no choice,’ actually means, ‘I had only one path that was easy in the moment.’ The agenda we invent and act on defines our organizations, our work, and the people we choose to become.”
Be a High-Trust Leader: make better choices this week. Repeat.