I bet some of you can remember the days when we were kids and we “caught” our parents doing something they specifically told us not to do. It might have been using colorful language, smoking cigarettes, or telling a white lie. When we asked them about it, or called them on it, they would say, “Do as I say, not as I do!” But actions are so much more powerful than words. We looked up to our parents and emulated their behavior. They were our role models. We wanted to be just like them, didn’t we?
Now that we are all grown up, some of us have become parents and we take that role very seriously. We understand that children model their behavior after ours. But here is the challenge I want to throw out to all of you. Think about how your employees look up to you as their manager. It’s similar to the parent/child relationship in that our subordinates are looking to us to provide them with the road map for how to be successful. You, as a manager or supervisor, are shaping your corporate culture each time you greet a customer by name and with a smile, straighten stock, pick up trash in the parking lot, or seek creative ways to manage difficult customers. You can have all the training manuals in the world available to your staff but if your actions don’t back up what your training manuals teach, you might as well just burn the manuals. Other areas of influence might be arriving at work on time or early, punctual start and stop times for meetings, always telling the truth, being positive and upbeat, and speaking well of the company and its management team. Actions speak louder than words. Walk the walk and talk the talk. And remember…the employee is always watching!