When you create vision and mission statements for your company, you are in essence “talking” – yes, “talking” – to your customers, vendors, prospects, employees, and the entire outside world. When you create these visions and missions, you are creating value statements, and as we all know, you have to “Walk that Talk” if you want to create positive results year after year. There is no doubt that companies that consistently and successfully “walk their talk” do better than those that don’t.
So how do you ensure your company is “walking the talk”?
Here are just a few ways. I will add a few more next week.
1. Practice the values you committed to in your vision and mission statements. Are you living up to what you said you were going to do? Does every employee know the vision and mission of your company? If not, how can you effectively “walk the talk”?
2. Communicate like a leader should. Make sure you understand what you’re trying to communicate before you expect others to understand it. Leave out generalities, and get specific. Be clear and concise. Use charts, PowerPoint, or even stories to convey your messages. Then, check for understanding (did your audience understand your message?).
3. Do the Right Thing. Make sure you are doing the right thing, regardless of how unpopular or painful it may be. When you make promises and agreements, write them down. Then make sure you keep your word. If you make mistakes, own up to them, apologize if necessary, then get on with business.
4. Don’t be insane. Not all of your decisions need to be the only way to do things. We all know the definition of insanity is “doing the same things over and over, expecting different results.” Be flexible and open-minded. If you’re willing to look at things from others’ perspectives, you may learn something. Their way may actually even be better!
5. Get off the fence. You don’t have to make all decisions quickly, but you should make some quickly. Way too many leaders sit on the proverbial fence and, man, that must hurt after awhile. When you have all the facts or as many as you can get, make the decision. Include a small circle of advisors, mentors, or even a coach to assist you with tough decisions. I get these calls all the time from my clients.
As a business owner and coach, I have to be committed to these values and the many that will follow in the coming weeks. I have found that surrounding myself with accountability partners, such as my coach and even some of my clients, helps tremendously with keeping my actions in line with the values created in my vision and mission statements. As leaders, we can’t just say we’re going to do something; we have to make it happen. In my world, that’s “walking the talk”.