There is a saying that is meaningful to me, “Excuse me, but your actions are so loud that I can barely hear your words.”
My father-in-law owned a heating and air-conditioning business. The business is still operating today and has been in the family since the 1920’s. Often in the earlier days, an important supplier would provide business signs to be placed on their building. Once, a supplier provided and hung on the business a sign that said, “Quailty service for over 50 years.” Someone remarked to my father-in-law that the word “Quality” was mis-spelled on the sign on their building and he said, “Yes, I know, but our customers around town care more about the work we have done for them through the years than what is written on that sign.” Sure, one could argue that excellence says we should be precise in what we do, even with the little things. However, my father-in-law was making a great point… words are cheap. It is our actions that really matter.
So, we can talk all we want about our standards for quality, its importance to our customers, our passion for compliance and excellence and first-time right, but if our actions say otherwise, we will have no credibility with those around us. We can talk all day about how much we want to serve others, or how much we care, or our plans for next month, or what we’ll do for you. However, if our actions say otherwise, we have no credibility. Do we talk about our high standards, then act as one with low standards and little integrity?
So often, I see examples of words versus actions in life that speak very loudly. For example, is it surprising to a parent that freely and openly consumes alcohol to get a call about their teenager who was caught drinking at a school dance? Should we be surprised what our kids drive fast and recklessly if the only example they have ever seen from us is something similar? Should we expect our employees to treat others fairly and honestly when we don’t treat them with respect and dignity? Let’s never forget that the actions we take day-by-day are much more important and make a greater impact to those around us than the words we say.
Have an outstanding day!