Talk Is Expensive

The public humiliation of yet another ‘do as I say, not as I do’ leader, is a timely reminder of what happens when power meets self importance.

Business owners face this challenge daily. And many mistake authority for the ability to speak first and think about the consequences later.

For employees, however, the equation is exactly reversed and every word they utter in front of their employer is measured and weighed.

The net result is that the very act of speaking becomes currency in a work environment. And how you spend it has enormous impact on the health of the business.

As a business owner there are some simple guidelines to follow that will maximize the weight of what you say:

  • Never make a promise you aren’t certain you will be able to keep. One un-delivered commitment turns inspiration into hyperbole forever after.

  • Listen first, second and third. Employees want to be heard. And will work with more commitment for a company that respects them enough to provide them that courtesy.

  • Have ideals and standards. But only those that you can live by yourself. Hypocrisy has a stench that is unmistakable.

  • If you over-reach, admit it, and learn from the mistake. Restoring trust will take time. But the clock only starts once you accept responsibility.