Have you ever attended a business program designed to
improve your communication, grow your business or achieve a new goal? I hope
you have. Successful professionals strive to improve themselves and get better
results. I’ve attended numerous programs
over the years. Along with the new
skills I’ve acquired in some of the programs I’ve attended, I’ve also learned
something else, and it wasn’t part of the program.
A friend of mine just attended a marketing program for entrepreneurs.
Apparently the presenter was highly recommended to the group. The presenter was
a big guy who could command an audience.
The buzz on this presenter was that he was really successful. The room was packed. If you looked around at
the participants, they seemed to hang on his every word. My friend was an
international manager for a top consulting firm. Now he runs his own company. He’s smart and he knows people well. By
attending the program, he thought he could learn some new strategies. The marketing guru told the group how to
design their marketing programs and then implement their plans so they could be
as successful as he is. He told the
group that with his plan he had made millions. He thought they could, too. Then he disclosed one more piece of
The overweight presenter said, “I’m changing my plans in the
next few months. I’m looking to scale back to $200,000 a year. My health has
suffered. I don’t exercise any more. I’ve just gone through a divorce and I’m
just not as happy as I used to be.” If I
had been in the room, my opinion of his program would have gone from my initial
belief to immediate disbelief. Did he
really think he was talking like a successful business executive? Hardly.
Had I been in the room, I would have felt very manipulated.
I thought about this guy and his efforts to motivate others.
Do you notice that people are credible when they’re consistent with their
message? You start to trust them when
what they say is congruent with what they do.
I am more likely to implement—and did—the practices of a time management
expert whose program starts and ends on time and whose materials are organized
to fit the program. I’ve used database
management software because the person teaching the class was also a beta tester
for several programs and picked the best one to use—and then taught that
program to others.
Leading and managing others requires the same
consistency. The next time you have a
project to manage, a group to lead, or a case to make, ask yourself, who are
you? If you publicly say one thing and
then do something different, the people you lead will have other ideas about
your leadership. Who you think you are
needs to match what the people think who work with you. If they think you are not
who you think you are, you’ve got some work to do. You are who they think you are—not who you
think you are.