For anyone who is looking for a good, practical book on Leadership, I’d recommend The Leadership Challenge by Kouzes & Posner. It’s been around for 25+ years, and for good reason.
One of the core principles of the book stuck with me, a piece of advice that is undeniably true and simple to execute. Please note, I’m not suggesting it is easy to execute, but it is simple;
Leaders who want to be taken seriously, who want to be seen as credible, have good track records in the (non-catchy) acronym DWYSYWD
Do What You Say You Will Do
It’s hard to argue against this idea. Who likes a leader who doesn’t follow through on their claims? When a promise is made, and you don’t believe it will eventuate, how can there be trust? Why would your team go the extra mile if they don’t see you live up to your word?
It stuck with me for two reasons. Firstly, it resonates with previous experience. The leaders who have impacted me most have all been trustworthy, reliable and credible.
Secondly, as soon as I read it, I knew it was something I wasn’t doing. That’s a hard thing to admit, but what’s worse is to delude yourself into thinking that it’s not important.
Do you do what you say you will do? If we asked your team (anonymously), what would they say?
What’s the feeling you have in your gut right now? Before your brain can think of excuses as to why this can be brushed off, it’s worth deciding that in 2016, you’ll make a conscious effort to follow through on what you promise.