The Blog

Walking the talk?

15th June 2015

A very tired cliché from a dead European philosopher or an Eastern sage is a sure sign that the owner of a tedious presentation is grasping at the coat tails of gravitas or desperately trying to find a candle in the dark. So I’m in dangerous territory as I attempt to draw your attention to a quote from Mahatma Gandhi which I think you may know. And, no it’s not the tedious one about being the change…….

“Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words.  Keep your words positive because your words become your behavior.  Keep your behavior positive because your behavior becomes your habits.  Keep your habits positive because your habits become your values.  Keep your values positive because your values become your destiny.”

I am drawn to the emphasis on positivity but more interestingly the sequence which he delineates. It is that “your habits become your values” that intrigues me. Often in my work with leaders the sequence is more likely to be something like get clear on your values, get clear on how they should play out in the business, clearly communicate these and engage with purpose.  We are emphasising the expression of values as the start point but what Gandhi is emphasising is a different sequence that concludes with values and ultimately destiny. The key steps being ….behaviour to habit…….habit to values.

So there is a big question to reflect on here :-

If we gathered up the examples of our actions with staff, with customers, with suppliers what would they say to others? In the process of such a reflection it makes me think that there are a small number of actions that define our values and the these take on the importance of moments of truth. So what could be the actions you could take in the coming weeks that would speak volumes and embody such values as a willingness to go the extra mile, to stand shoulder to shoulder and to act with great integrity? This is a much more challenging road to walk but very probably a richer one – in more ways than one.



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