Actions speak louder than words

My daughter turned 16 this spring and will be taking her driver’s license test next week. I am not sure if the past 9 months of practice driving has been harder for her or me! Driving-test-jpg_173810

One thing I know for sure is that she now watches how I drive like a hawk. Describing the importance of complete stops, checking your blind spot, or putting your phone away while driving is not as powerful as actually DOING those things while I drive.

Actions also speak louder than words for leaders when building accountability and commitment for successful change at your higher education institution or other organization. In your role as a leader, you are being watched like a hawk and people will make decisions about how committed they believe you and your organization actually are to any change by what they see you doing. Your behaviors will directly influence how committed they feel to the change!

In my Code Blue post I described a C-P-R model that can help you build greater accountability and commitment to change by defining what you need to communicate, practice and reinforce for a successful change. Adding behavioral anchors, or clearly defined “actions,” for yourself and all stakeholders involved in the change to the C-P-R model makes it stronger and increases the likelihood of implementing a successful change. The “actions” you demonstrate and hold others accountable to speak louder than the words in your vision statement!

I recently used the attached matrix – click here to download – Change Behavioral Anchors chart – to work with a group of HR leaders to identify the specific behaviors that campus presidents, leadership cabinet members, supervisors and employees need to demonstrate for us to successfully change to a practice of 100% on-time and up-to-date performance reviews for all staff. The sight of the president and senior leaders scheduling and holding their performance evaluations, on-time, will build accountability faster than any set of talking points or memos on the importance of performance reviews or a restatement of the policy on annual reviews!

Wish my daughter luck on her drivers test!

Todd Thorsgaard



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