Walking the talk

marinadeboer-105x70I often wonder what would happen if we would all just walk the talk. That's it. No grand endeavors, no overly ambitious goals. Just do what you preach.
From President Obama to local councillors, from school directors to board committees. From teachers to coaches, from business consultants to yoga instructors.

Funny thing is, internet has made this so easy to monitor.
Go on any web site. Schools claiming they never loose the focus on developing the individual but never asked themselves how on earth to do this with 2000 teenagers and only 80 staff members available and an educational committee wanting results at the end of the school year. Local governments always have the interest of their citizens at the centre of their policy making, only as long as it doesn't interfere with whatever they have had to agree with the opposition. Companies who claim leave room for their employees to write their own job description according to their talents as long as it fits the required tasks. Change makers who preach connection and community and never reply when you reach out.

It's so easy to say things people want to hear. The hard bit comes when you have to walk your own talk.

The first time this was pointed out to me was when I was expecting our first child. I read all the books on pregnancy, birth and early childhood that I could lay my hands on. After all, this was a lifelong project and not to be taken lightly. I believe it was Dr Spock who stressed the importance of setting example as opposed to "educating". After all, telling a child swearing is not a good thing and then turning around and telling someone to "F*ck off" because he took your parking space will very surely linger in the child's memory longer than your reprimand. The same counts for being kind and eating with a knife and fork. I have to admit that around me I frequently noticed that a lot of parents had not read this chapter out of Dr Spock's book but they somehow had the confidence to monopolize coffee mornings with their latest "do" and "don'ts" on parenting.

The same seems to be happening with companies working on sustainability, healthy foods, gender equality and the "new working" we all like to hear about. I have a marketing background so yeah, I know where this is coming from, but isn't it time we implement real change and cut the crap?

Only say what you know you will achieve. At GWl we work towards setting this example. A community of women sharing what they know and changing what needs to change. Clear communication, regular feed back. Helping each other when required. Joining forces when we feel overwhelmed. Inspiring each other in turn to continue aiming for great things. Celebrating our differences but agreeing for a common goal. Accepting that some things will take longer and others will be hard. Identifying each others "crap" and rephrasing it with true words.

New Leadership is more than telling people what to do in a nice way. It's setting the example by oozing it out of your every pore.


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