Wednesday, 26 August 2015 16:50

Hallelujah for Walking the Talk

Written by Cathy Fyock, Lyle Sussman, and Kevin Williamson

Walk The Talk

If you have a mission statemnt, convene a “walk the talk” meeting with your team. Then, answer two questions: 1) What current policies and actions contradict our mission statement? And 2) What will we do differently to bring our behavior in line with our mission statement, so we can walk the talk tomorrow and every day after? This meeting might sting, and it might be hard to be as honest as you need to be, but you’ll be better in the long run. More importantly, you will be more focused than ever upon the purpose.

In Hallelujah! An Anthem for Purposeful Work, we’ve outlined these key principles for developing authentic leaders who can walk the talk and inspire their organization to work with purpose.

Walking the talk takes more courage than it does training. So does owning your mistakes and apologizing, especially to people you lead.

Suppress your ego. It’s not about you; it’s about the mission. Purpose-driven leadership is not about being perfect and proud—it’s about achieving the Why without compromising your values and integrity.

Purpose-driven leaders paint big pictures and help their team find their place in that picture. They even share the paintbrush.

Purpose-driven leaders manifest focus, clarity, and passion, which in turn, is reflective of the team’s performance. When leaders are focused, the team can follow that lead.

If you want to be loved, find a soulmate. If you want to lead, or are called upon to lead, expect that you will make some people frustrated some of the time.

Purpose-driven leadership is not commanding and controlling—it’s empowering and enabling. Serve them and they will serve you. Purpose-driven teams always have—and always will—find ways to compensate for the honest mistakes of imperfect leaders.

If you’ve done your job as a leader, when an employee voluntarily leaves your company, he or she should look back at the time with the organization as a gift the two of you gave one another.

If you’re telling someone money isn’t important, be sure you’re telling it to someone who makes more than you.

Purpose-driven leaders know they are works in progress. They know they have to continually work at deserving respect from their team.

Purpose-driven leaders create purpose-driven organizations as their legacy. That legacy is created through purpose-driven coaching, executive development, and succession planning.

If you want to see the real test of your corporate values, just examine your operating budget. That budget tells everyone in your company what you are willing to spend to answer the Why, What, and How questions. Similarly, to test your personal values, just look at your calendar. How are you spending your time?

Creating a purpose-driven company is as simple as answering three simple questions. They are as follows: Why do we exist? What are our values? Are we living those values? And, if not, how will we correct ourselves? When leaders ask these questions and challenge their people to engage in conversations about the answers, organizations can move toward purposeful work and employees can begin to sing, “Hallelujah!”

This article is in part excerpted from the book, “Hallelujah! An Anthem for Purposeful Work,” written by Cathy Fyock, Lyle Sussman, and Kevin Williamson. For more information and resources on creating purposeful work, visit the book’s website at

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