Talkers & Doers
You can believe in soap and die dirty.
As Gandhi shared, “Action expresses priority.”
My dad let me know early on that there were two kinds of people in the world: talkers and doers.
And, I needed to be a doer.
We have a lot of ‘talkers’ in society today. It’s interesting to me that those that talk the most tend to do the least. Talkers have grand plans and solutions to any number of problems, but often lack the initiative to actually do anything. They are critics. Talkers are quick to point out what a doer did wrong or could have done differently, but slow to actually pick up the hammer and swing it.
Why, you might ask? That’s a pretty easy one.
When we avoid action we think we are avoiding failure. Talking about all the things that could, or should, be done is easy. The solutions abound and the answers are clear when all we do is talk. If we don’t bet, we can’t lose.
In a weird way, I feel sorry for the Talkers. They think their opinions matter. They fully believe their words of wisdom make a difference. Yet, we know they don’t. We learn quickly that the doers are the ones to listen to. They’re the ones with the actual experience to provide good counsel. Talkers speak as if failure isn’t a possibility. Doers have confronted failure head on and are fully prepared for the next round of it, which they know is coming.
Why Should We Care?
This isn’t about prudence. I’m all for gathering information, asking for advice from those we trust, and making the best decisions possible. It is about decisiveness.
As a leader, this is a dangerous trap. We can easily drift into a Talker if we aren’t mindful of the risk. We may even slip into the belief that we are doing because we are completing checklists and staying busy. Busy does not equate to doing.
One of the biggest challenges for leaders is staying connected to the daily responsibilities of the people we are leading. Disconnection in this area is not only common, it’s often desired. Some leaders like the distance. The corner office with the great view isn’t nearly as helpful as a genuine understanding of what the people you lead experience day to day. We are best served to stay, or at least revisit, the trenches often.
It’s important that leaders do, not just talk.
REAL TALK - Action Steps
Doers follow a simple three step process.
There are so many people that talk in future tense, about what they are going to do. Action lives in the present. There is nothing wrong with talking about what you are going to do, just be sure your actions follow suit. Your integrity depends on it.
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I'm a teacher, coach, and parent seeking excellence while defining success on my own terms.