One of my regular modes of transportation is the Washington State Ferry service. The crossing time is about 30 minutes, so while I often will catch up on emails and other correspondence, I try to take advantage of the time by getting my “steps” in.
Walking the ferry is a very popular thing for ferry travelers. You can often see half a dozen or more walkers circling the track. We pass by each other and sometimes nod or smile knowingly as we cram some exercise in our day.
In the last ferry walk I did, one of the other walkers whom I had passed many times over about a 10 minute span, stopped at the vending machine. My first thought was that I didn’t know of any healthy alternatives in that machine. Sure enough, on the next lap I saw her walking and chomping on Cheetos. Cheetos!
Yes, this woman was showing some commitment to exercise, but the action of eating something that is certainly not a healthy snack was incongruous with the first activity. In other words, one action didn’t line up with the other and – at least in my opinion – eliminated the value of the good action.
How many companies do exactly the same thing?
Have you ever been in an organization that publicly espoused that they cared about company culture but their words and actions said something else? Rather than foster collaboration, the company didn’t listen, didn’t develop people, and didn’t keep promises the result is low employee morale and high turnover.
Have you ever seen companies that said they care about client service, yet offset that with long wait times for service, lack of communication, and not using technology to improve service.
Here’s the deal: If ones words and actions don’t align with what they assert publicly, then no one believes they are genuine and all of the positive stated is lost. Just like I didn’t buy the walker’s commitment to health because of her subsequent food choice, employees, clients, and community will see through duplicitous words and actions.
Here’s your assignment: Check your own company, regardless of whether you are the boss or employee. How does your mission, vision, and value align with what happens daily with your company?
What we say matters. Our actions matter more. Make sure your mission, vision, values, and actions all are in concert. That will lead to a very healthy organization!
Quote of the Day:
“Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton was the one who asked why.”
~ Bernard Baruch
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