If you lead people, learn to lead them with your actions not your words. As they say in The Game of Thrones on HBO, words are wind. If you are leading people and not setting standards through your actions, you are missing an opportunity to inspire your people. Too many times in my career I have heard stories of leaders who talk to hear themselves talk. They are in love with their own echo.
Unfortunately, this extends to how they lead their people. They find themselves thinking that because they are the leader they need to find ways to critique their employees. Now, do not misconstrue what is being said here. Providing feedback is critical in any organization. However, it is the WAY in which these leaders give feedback. They search for anything that they can use as a critique of their employees. They go above and beyond to find the words to describe faults, but it is very rare that they figure out how to use those words to share praise. They grasp for things. It may sound like the devil is in the details, or that there is a need to focus on executive presence. Both of which I’ve heard personally in my career. To which I thought, if the devil is in the details, why do I want to be there?
I am not saying details are not important, they are undoubtedly. But always consider the source in addition to when and how the feedback is delivered. It is hard to take feedback seriously from a leader who cannot get their head out of the details. It is even more difficult when you watch as that leader ignores details that you consider critical to the success of what you do. Remember, words are wind.
But winds swirl and carry labels with them to other ears. The danger is when you get pegged unfairly for something that isn’t necessarily true. Those words find a place to land, and if they land with people of influence you can become marked unfairly. So as a leader, be careful with what you say and watch how you act.
Learn to inspire with actions, not words. And if you are receiving feedback (talk) that does not match the walk of the leader, recognize that those words are wind.