How Talking Makes Leaders Dumb
Dumb people talk – smart people do. Talking makes you seem smart. Talking without doing, in reality, makes you dumb. Doing is the only thing that makes you smart.
Stuff in our heads doesn’t make us smart until it’s put into action.
If you can’t describe it, you can’t do it. If you can’t explain it, you don’t know it. Terms like success, progress, innovation, and improvement are wishful thinking apart from defined outcomes and visible behaviors.
- The first step of success is defining the win.
- The first step of progress is describing next steps.
- First steps require deadlines and accountability.
Bonus: sustained success calls for supportive teams.
Defined outcomes apart from next steps are wishful thinking. Worse yet, talking makes people feel they’ve done something when they haven’t.
Meetings are pooled ignorance when they don’t define, describe, and measure actionable results and next steps. Action makes teams smart; talking – without action – makes them dumb.
- Effective leader.
- Father or mother.
- Personal and organizational success.
After defining an effective leader, for example, describe in behavioral terms the next step toward becoming your definition.
If you believe effective leaders motivate or encourage, for example, you can’t get it done until you can describe how it’s done.
Extraordinary success demands clear definitions and actionable next steps.
How can leaders move toward more doing and less talking?
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That’s the funny thing about it – Leaders are usually productively taking actions all the time to move the collective towards the goals – while delivering little nuggets of information to those within their remit – while attentively listening for information that take take them towards their goals in a better and more productive way or possibly for what may be cause for concern to the overall plan of action ……
This is the benchmark in Leadership ……….
Too busy to write lately!
The line “…talking makes people feel like they have done something when they haven’t…” reminds me of a great TED Talk by Derek Sivers…http://www.ted.com/talks/derek_sivers_keep_your_goals_to_yourself.html
Thanks for all your sharing, Dan!
I agree that only talking makes one dumb. He or she might create positive impression soon but sooner he is likely to be exposed. I would like to move one step further in the organizational context. Why do people believe in more talking and less doing? I have seen it as situational phenomena. There are organizations, where talking determines success and eventually it becomes trend. There are leaders who believe in talking and perceive that those who talk more are smarter than others. There are leaders who believe in manipulating by talking. It means they can make anything in their favor by their charismatic talk. What does it indicate? I think individual definition for success and values that lead to success play major role here. I believe, weaker values often leads to more talking and less doing like situation whereas stronger values leads to more doing and less talking like situation. Hence, leaders can move forward toward more doing and less talking by understanding their values that determines success and more importantly impact of that success.
An interesting post with good insight. I like your first steps which are quite logical and agree that sustained success calls for supportive teams.
However, good leaders do things first and then speak to encourage, motivate and push people to perform at individual and collective level. There is no harm to talk about good achievements which will lead to further success. In a big organization, you are otherwise not noticed and recognized for whatever good that you do, or otherwise the boss may take away the credit!
Good leaders work on daily plans with a diary management habit and believe in working on key priorities with more of delegation.
My conclusion is that leaders need to have smart talks with proven actions and more after achieving the desired success.
Reblogged this on The Writ of Cotton and commented:
A good article that will help you become an effective Thinker
Im wondering how integrity fits into your thinking?
I always think of integrity as central to the trust component in leadership. Trust includes competence but integrity comes first. What do you think?
Right on, Dan! What is particularly disturbing is to see how the “talkers” get ahead, but the performers, who are not necessarily good on their feet in expressing themselves are overlooked…but they are the ones who know how to get a job done!
Great post! I find it extremely difficult to describe or teach something without actually doing it first. How do you deal with the charismatic “talker?” Everyone believes they are effective due to their charm, but there is no action or substance behind those words. Those are the ones I find very frustrating. Anyway, great blog post!
Who is feeling cold needs to “act” to feel better rather than just talking about his misery. Good one Dan.