Be the same person every day

23 Apr

“I try to be the same man every day” – a profound insight by a high-performance manager when asked why.  Trust is an essential ingredient to being an effective manager.  Behavioral consistency is a fundamental trust builder.  Unpredictability is a trust-buster.  To be a high performing manager: Make sure you always have a very high say/do ratio. Do what you say you are going to do when you say you are going to do it, if things change, inform people why you cannot or did not do so as soon as possible (even after the fact).

This is one of the most sensitive measures of the effectiveness of people in the work place.  Consider for a moment the people in your life who you trust.  Almost certainly these people have very high say/do ratios.  It is also a key behavior that customers, employees, peers and managers use to judge you.  To be an effective manager, your word must be your bond.  The result:

  1. Monitoring your behavior builds self-discipline.
  2. Say/do is a key component of integrity.
  3. Say/do maximizes accurate communication.
  4. Trust is essential to effective interpersonal performance.
  5. You like yourself better.

Consider your expectations.  Some believe you have to earn their trust.  This is nonsense.  A more effective strategy is to trust people until they provide ample information mistrust them.  Assuming people are trust worthy is an optimal strategy, assuming people are untrustworthy is not.  The former works with most people (unfortunately there are always exceptions) and the latter requires enormous mental effort that could be spent elsewhere.

One Response to “Be the same person every day”

  1. Steve January 5, 2010 at 7:19 am #

    The Say/Do Ratio is really the key metric for a manager or leader. The only way to truly impact people and help them change is to have credibility with them. If what you say is what you do, you will have credibility. One can be the boss and have people like you and never be effective as a manager. On can be liked for being a nice guy or fun but with a low Say/Do Ratio you will never be able to lead anyone for long. As soon as you have to do something unfun you will lose what influence you had.

    It seems to be the nature of humans that they want to trust and respect those who are leaders or in positions of authority. This even seems to be one of the hardest desires to break as a manager. Even bad managers are given a lot of rope to hang themselves because people want so much to respect their leaders. Just look at how the average voter wants to treat their Congressmen versus how those men/women actual act in office.

    I truly agree with John to the hilt on this point. You cannot pay enough attention to this aspect of your leadership.

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