Words from leaders only work when they are connected to actions.


It’s true that great leaders are great communicators. You have to connect with people to share your vision. But words will only take a leader so far until actions that back up the words have to kick in.

Here are three thoughts for leaders on the importance of actions in addition to words:

Should, could, or would don’t equal did.
There is a Chinese proverb that says, “Talk doesn’t cook rice.” You might be the most talented speaker ever, but unless your words lead to actions in you or in the listener, not much happens.

Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold – but so does a hard-boiled egg.

Inspiration doesn’t always proceed actions, but some action always proceeds more actions.
Most people imagine that history’s greatest composers were overflowing with inspiration and simply wrote music after they were inspired. Musicologist Ernest Newman tells us a different story, “Beethoven, Wagner, Bach and Mozart settled down day after day to the job in hand with as much regularity as an accountant settles down each day to his figures. They didn’t waste time waiting for inspiration.

If you want to be inspired then get to work. The actions you take will inspire more action.

In the choice between say and do – do.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Your actions speak so loudly I can’t hear what you say.” Of course people hear your words, but they feel your actions and that drowns out your words, positively or negatively.

So given the chance to influence people through your words or through your actions, focus on your actions.

As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.” – Andrew Carnegie

4 Responses to Words from leaders only work when they are connected to actions.
  1. Joy

    Great topic. It is true that you can learn more about a person by watching them, and recognizing the choices they make. When someone says one thing and does another, they lose credibility.

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Thank you Joy. You are right. Our credibility is based on our actions.

  2. Zachary Slade

    This is AWESOME!!! Well said and put together. It’s all about taking action, knowing what the result has to be, and then not accepting anything less. Thanks Denis!

    • Denis G. McLaughlin

      Zach, you are right on. Nothing less than achieving the result you purposed in your mind.