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.

Try defining:

  1. Effective leader.
  2. Father or mother.
  3. Family.
  4. Fun.
  5. Personal and organizational success.
  6. Growth.
  7. Progress.

Try identifying:

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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