As I get older and wiser, the one thing I have come to learn as truth is that I no longer believe what people say, including myself. I believe in what you do. I believe in what your actions are telling me because frankly, words are air and really mean nothing until there is a walk followed by the talk.
I hold this standard equally to myself because frankly, I've gotten in the sloppy habit of saying I'm going to do something, and then I don't because of excuses or procrastination. I'm learning to be more conscious of backing up my talk with immediate action or to say nothing at all until I know for sure that I will come through with my intentions.
Pros versus Amateurs
I use the word sloppy because I do believe that being all talk and no action, or being inconsistent with your words is sloppy. I'm reminded of the difference between Pros and Amateurs ala Stephen Pressfield from The War of Art . I love Stephen's book and literally carry a copy around with me because his words help keep me focused on the bigger vision, and the actions needed to get there which for me right now is getting Thriving Media's first apps launched.
I also look for this quality in other people, and even more so now since I am the Founder of a company and in the process of building a team. Talent and experience is indeed crucial, but more important to me is that I need to be able to rely on you to come through.
When I'm getting to know people, I watch to see if there words and action match. With social media and search getting better and more interwoven, it's easier to check online to see if what people tell you about themselves is true or not or whether they are consistent or not.
I don't care if you if you have the best resume on the planet, if you are a flake or unreliable, the team cannot function on full throttle. This standard holds true for myself because as a leader the team needs to know with every fiber that you will stay true to your word. You cannot create loyalty without consistency.
As a life example, it's like the parent who keeps telling their kid they will show up to the play or ballgame and never do. Eventually, the kid stops believing because the disappointment has become too painful. The closeness the two once had erodes over time with each letdown because trust has been affected.
Flakiness and unreliability doesn't just stunt a team's ability to make progress, it affects the emotional wellness of the team. Bitterness and resentment start to arise which then leads to arguments, frustration, and splintering of the team. Dependability is emotional glue as it creates cohesiveness.
Outside of work, in my personal life, I have been quicker to move on from friendships and relationships where there is a pattern of growing inconsistency. As my friend @ElizabethHannan puts it, there is acute and chronic. Chronic unreliability is unacceptbale. For me, life is too short and stressful enough to be weighed down by people I cannot rely on.
In theory, it is very simple. Walk your talk. In execution, well, let's get better at it because as far as I'm concerned, I don't believe what you say. I believe what you do!