232 - When Actions Don't Line Up With What You Say - John Laurito

232 – When Actions Don’t Line Up With What You Say

Welcome to another thought-provoking episode where host John Laurito shares a concept that will impact your team and even your life. Today, he talks about being conscious of doing exactly what you said you’d do, especially if you’re leading a team or running a business. It’s one thing to be accountable for your life, but it’s different when people are watching and depending on you.

[0:00] Intro

[0:40] Why are we talking about this in today’s episode?

[2:10] Here’s a couple of examples

[5:54] What a CEO or business leader should be conscious of

[9:21] Sometimes, leaders don’t get it

[11:10] Quick takeaway

[12:28] Outro

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John Over the last two decades, I’ve been on a quest to learn everything I can about leadership obsessed with what makes the best leaders so good after running companies small and large for the last 20 years. Today I speak on stages all across the world to audiences who are interested in that same question. My name’s John Laurito and I’m your host. I invite you to join me on this journey as we explore this topic. What makes the best leaders so good? Welcome to tomorrow’s leader! 

John All right, welcome to today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader, where we dove deep on all things leader related to leading yourself and leading others. I’m John Laurito your host. Hope you’re enjoying a great January. We’re off to 2022 already, and if you’re like me, you’re excited to be in the new year, hopefully, years off to a great start. 

John So speaking in New Year’s, I know everybody goes into 2022 with huge plans. Personally, professionally, I’ve talked in the last couple of episodes about New Year’s resolutions and all that. I want to talk about a leadership concept that’s really a life concept, but the leadership concept around what you do lining up with the things that you say. And I bring this up because I see this so often with people, there’s people that I know, in fact, thinking of somebody where I know this person’s intention is great, but I also know that when they say they’re going to do something, it just right away in my head. 

John I say, no, they’re I’m going to do that when they say they’re going to commit to something and they are absolutely going to do this. Whatever it is, I know it’s not going to happen. And I know that because that individual says that they’re going to do something all the time and they just don’t. So I know that I’m not going to expect anything different. That’s OK. And I, I’m not here to judge or anything like that. I just want people to understand as a leader what this really does and what messages it sends and how important it is. Because as a leader, you can have nine out of ten things that are rocking and rolling. 

John But if that’s one gap that you have in your leadership that you do not, you don’t act, that your actions don’t line up with what you say. Ultimately, it’s really difficult for you to have extremely high levels of success. You’re just not going to build that level of trust and respect and credibility and influence that you need to have a huge impact as a leader. And I’ll give you a couple of examples. I mean, you see this with companies all the time. I cannot tell you how many times I see this with companies where they talk about something that they do or deliver or a core value. 

John And then you see actions that totally don’t line up with what they’re putting down on their website or speaking about. And a lot of times fact of the matter is companies create these websites or these, you know, values or guiding principles, you know, usually in a boardroom with a bunch of people, they put things up on a whiteboard that look good. They sound good. They resonate. But they’re really not what they’re all about. They’re really not committed to those actions. I’ll give you an example. It’s kind of a funny one here. It was back. I think it was 2013 Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

John The lesson? This is not a knock on KFC. You change your name to KFC. We know what that stands for. I know what KFC stands for. It doesn’t suddenly mean you’re not that you’re healthier because you’re not using the word fried chicken. But their mission statement is to sell food in a fast, friendly environment that appeals to price-conscious, health-minded consumers. 

John Health-minded consumers? What? Wait a second. Is this Kentucky Fried Chicken? Is this the same place I’m thinking about that sells the extra crispy like, you know, incredibly fattening but super tasty food? I mean, listen, I’m not judging. I love it’s like an ice cream place. I’m not going there to eat healthy food. I’m going there to have fun and enjoy some great ice cream. But I go to Kentucky Fried Chicken. 

John I’m not going there to be healthy, so, you know, be who you’re going to be. Now, I know a lot of fast food restaurants that have changed their menu around, and I do know KFC recently has added some different stuff, but this is back a number of years ago. What’s interesting is when this came out a matter of I don’t know what it was a relatively short period of time. After that, they came out with something. Now you’re going to have to Google this to see this, and maybe my producers can put this up on the video if you’re watching this. It is called the double down. Now let me describe the double down to double down. 

John We took the bread, we took the bun off of our sandwiches, off of our burgers, and replaced it with two deep fried, double deep fried pieces of fried chicken, double deep fried pizza, French double deep fried chicken. That’s the buns, literally to the deep-fried. I’m looking at the picture. I’m like, Wow, dude, deep-fried pieces of chicken. That’s the bun. Now inside this bun is like this massive slab of bacon and cheese, and some identify unidentifiable sauce. Now I’m going to say I don’t know for any of you out there, shoot me a note. 

John If you’ve tried this, I would actually like to try it, but this would not be part of my healthy eating regime. This would not be part of my diet. Now, contrary to Kentucky Fried Chicken. Their mission is to sell food in a fast, friendly environment that appeals to price-conscious, health-minded consumers. And then they introduced the double down, really? Two deep-fried pieces of chicken as the bun. Two days of sodium in one sandwich. Mmm. Good. Oh yeah, now that’s a sandwich, but that’s not healthy. Come on, you’re not Forman anybody here. 

John So I go through this as an example, like, there are so many companies that do this. There are so many leaders that do this. I hear and see and observe this. I have my whole career where somebody’s actions just don’t line up with what they are saying if I’m part of KFC. Now, listen, if I’m in an annual meeting, they’re talking about, Hey, here’s our mission health-minded individuals. 

John OK, great, what are we going to do about that? Let’s start to see some things on the menu that actually line up with that. If I then start to see this stuff, I’m like, Well, would I don’t get it? What? So this as a CEO is a leader of your organization, you have to be super conscious. It’s not just talking about stuff. It is what you’re actually doing. In fact, it’s 80 to 90 percent what you’re doing, 10 to 20 percent what you’re talking about. In reality, you know, I went to I got a mattress, went to a place to get mattress a store and I had I needed to get two mattresses. And they had some kind of deal where if you spent more than, I don’t know what it was, I forget, you know, five hundred bucks, you got your delivery fee was free. 

John And I ended up picking out these two mattresses. It was well over 500 bucks and I go to cash out and they said, listen, we can’t deliver this one mattress to you. One of the mattresses, if you really want it and I needed it in a certain time frame because I had people coming in from out of town, I just needed it within a quick timeframe. They said, If you want it, we can’t deliver it to you. We’re just you can. You can pick it up. You can rent the U-Haul and pick it up or whatever. I’m like, really, you know, and it was their issue they couldn’t deliver because there’s some kind of, you know, problem on there. And I’m like, What you see? And I was just in a bind that I didn’t want to spend a whole lot of time going to a bunch of different stores. So I’m like, All right, whatever, I guess. Yeah, OK, I’ll pick it up at the warehouse, I’ll rent the U-Haul. 

John I mean, super big inconvenience. I go to checkout and the guy charges me for delivery. I’m like, You just said if I spent more than five hundred bucks, that there’s no delivery charge, he said, Well, it’s $500 of deliverable items. You now are only spending 400 bucks on this one mattress and this was a number of years ago. Four hundred bucks on this one mattress and then the other one is not deliverable. That doesn’t factor into the 500 bucks. I’m like, what are you talking about? I said that’s your problem. I’m going out of my way. It’s my inconvenience because of your problem. 

John I’ve got to go pick it up and now you’re going to charge me delivery because it doesn’t exceed the 500 bucks. He said, Yeah, I’m sorry. That’s our policy. I’m like, Are you kidding me? Is this a joke? Honestly. You got to be kidding me for real. He said, no, you know, that’s the policy. I said, what? I don’t get it. And I, I just went back and forth, has got totally scratching my head. I’m thinking, this has got to be a joke. You can’t be making this decision. And he ended up sticking to his decision. And I remember looking on the wall and I see like the values of the organizations and one of the values was service. Like, literally, that was what a client service, customer service, something like that was one of their core values. And I even asked the guy, Is that literally your core values? 

John That’s part of your core values. Yet the decision that you’re making, is so out of alignment with good customer service, your problem has not only become my problem, but you’ve doubled it, you’ve doubled my problem. You’ve making me pick it up and you’re charging me delivery fee on the other matters. I don’t get it. Bottom line is a lot of times leaders and companies don’t get this. People watch, they don’t care really what you’re saying. It’s all about what you’re doing. Do your actions line up? I also know people and leaders that listen, if they say they’re going to do something, I know they’re going to do it. 

John There’s no question about it, and I respect those people immensely. What it makes me understand is they’re not going to say something that they know they’re not committed to doing. And they’re not just quick to say, OK, here’s what we’re going to do to fix this. They’re thoughtful. They kind of pause and you can almost think you can almost envision them thinking, OK before we commit to this or before I say this or before I set this expectation, am I? Or are we in a position to truly do it and deliver on it because you can’t put it out there? It’s a nice, pretty thing to say, but unless you’re willing to do the work to do it, it’s meaningless. 

John But it’s not just that, it’s everything else that follows. So when Kentucky Fried Chicken then says the next thing, hey, here’s what we’re going to do. You know, it’s taken a little bit of a grain of salt, right? It just has a little less meaning to it. That person that says all the time, Hey, I’m going to I’m going to start my gym regimen on Monday. And then they don’t. Then they say it, you know, a month later, I’m starting my workouts on Monday, and then they don’t. And they say a month later, and then they don’t. It just has less and less meaning. And again, I don’t judge it’s just as if it’s an individual, if you’re leading your own life, it’s one thing. But if you’re influencing and trying to influence an organization, believe me, people are watching what you do. 

John They’re not, they’re not listening as much. They’re watching to see what you do and do your actions line up with what you’re saying. So just a quick message for leaders out there. Be conscious of this. It’s so important to your effectiveness and your level of influence. Respect your level of impact in an organization. It is so key and sometimes just doing a self-check to say, Hey, you know what? What are the things that I have said? What do I stand for? What do I talk about a lot? Are there inconsistencies with what I’m saying and actually what I’m doing? 

John And that’s also where sometimes having somebody, you know, either a coach or somebody who’s really giving you willing to give you honest feedback based on seeing you in action, that’s where that can be helpful because sometimes you don’t realize that you’re doing that. But certainly, as the leader of a company or an organization, it’s your responsibility to be aware of it one way or the other. You have to understand the importance of your actions lining up with what you’re talking about. So I hope this was helpful. If you tried to double down a sandwich, I want to know about it seriously. This is a beast of a sandwich, and someday I will try it. So no offense, KFC. 

John But hey, I hope this was helpful as always. Like, share, subscribe. Go down below. Give five-star reviews. Your comments are greatly appreciated, as are your ideas for future topics and guests. Thanks for joining today! See you next time! 

John Thanks for joining us on today’s episode of Tomorrow’s Leader for suggestions or inquiries about having me at your next event or personal coaching, reach me at John@johnlaurito.com. Once again, that’s John@johnlaurito.com. Thanks, lead on! 

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