Doing What You Say & the Power of Walking The Talk

Walk the talk.

A skill that has been lost by many.

Simply put, doing what you say.

Many people (and companies) these days seem to have forgotten this simple concept.

Instead, we live in a daily environment of broken promises, unfulfilled statements, and even outright lies.

Do you do what you say?

Walking the Talk

The “talk” is what you say you are going to do.

The “walk” is what you do.

People love to talk the walk.

They love to tell you what they are going to do.

However, when it comes to actually doing, not many have the discipline or resolve to walk the talk. To do what they said they would.

Talking is easy. 

Doing is hard.

Doing what you said you were going to do… is harder still.

Do what do what you say you will?

Or do you do a lot of talking and not much follow-up?

Doing What You Say

We mislead ourselves. We mislead others.

Sometimes unintentionally. Sometimes on purpose.

Here are some tips to help you walk your talk:

  1. Doing Instead of Talking – There is a time for talking, and a time for doing. Make sure you know where one stops and the other begins. Doing something now, is almost always better than doing nothing.
  2. Say No – Instead of making a promise that you know you’re not going to keep, say “No” at the outset. This applies to the promises we make to ourselves, as well as others. Don’t make a promise that you know you can’t or won’t keep.
  3. Consider Your Reputation – We all have a time management reputation. Do people view you as reliable? Do they know and expect that you will do what you say? Your actions determine how others view you and ultimately how they treat you.
  4. Don’t Lie to Yourself – We often think the act of lying to ourselves is harmless. After all, we are not hurting anyone else. That is a shortsighted view. Your impact on yourself inevitably affects those around you. This is true at work, at home, and in your community.
  5. Broken Promises – This is lying to others. Don’t do it. Once you start, it is hard to stop. Often people, and more often companies, don’t think that others will notice their unfulfilled promises. Nothing could be further from the truth. Others may not be telling you about your broken promises but they are aware. (See #3)
  6. You CAN Change Your Talk – Often, people feel trapped by their statements. They say one thing and then circumstances change. That is OK. You can change your “talk.” The important thing is that you have to tell people.

Tell the Truth

Don’t tell me what you are going to do.

Instead, simply do what you say.

Tell the truth.

To your team. To you family and friends.

And of course, to yourself.

Question: What do you say you are going to do, that you don’t do?

17 thoughts on “Doing What You Say & the Power of Walking The Talk

  1. One area that I’ve struggled in is making “little promises” to people: I’ll call you, let’s do lunch, I’ll Email you this link, I’ll think about this and get back with you.

    It wasn’t that I was intentionally lying. I just would forget. Reliable capture has helped me with this. And actually following through on these has made me less willing to toss out these promises unless I really know I can and will fulfill them.

  2. @TMNinja : I walk the talk…in fancy high-heeled shoes! Most absolutely (>95% of the time/ 100% effort). #realistic

  3. Honesty…I have to remind myself to ‘walk the talk’. As they say, “we all fall down”. Sometimes I simply apologize, brush myself off, and try to do a better job. As a manager and leader, I completely understand that we should lead by example. But…on the flip side: we’re all human. We all miss the mark now and then.

    Great post, Craig. Keep ’em coming!

    1. @LifeMgmtDummies Thx, for the kind words!

      You are right… it is not about how many times we fall down… it’s how many times we get back up. 🙂

  4. Thanks for the small hit upside the head, Craig. I pride myself on this philosophy, and I’ve had people tell me I’m succeeding in comments and chats. But the little things still slip through – call backs, emails, etc. I doubt there are many who could say they can’t do better. Not me.

    1. @SallyE Thx, Sally! Agree, that is sometimes the little things that we let slip. Sometimes it is those little things that add up. 🙂 I try to avoid those little promises. 🙂

  5. Hey Craig,

    Doing what you said you were going to do… in the time you said you’d do it, is even harder 🙂

    I over-promised before the holidays. Early January, a few things took me off my productive state, and I got late on deliverables. Even though I didn’t give specific dates, I still felt bad not doing it at about the time I said I would. I’m still catching up… and I’m sure it affects my reputation.

    We gotta be careful about what we commit to.


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  7. Thank you for highlighting this. I believe in it 100%. Unfortunately, my boyfriend makes little promises all the time, we will go to be by 10:00, my budget will be done by the 10th, I will read this article this weekend, I’m done texting now,… And when I confront him, I’m called inflexible. I’m glad others see the little promises as important too.

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