William Stafford’s (1914 – 1993) poem reads:
The things you do not have to say make you rich,
Saying the things you do not have to say weakens your talk.
Hearing the things you do not have to hear dulls your hearing,
And the things you know before you hear them, these are you and the reason you are in the world.
Attention leaders. Judging by the above, we are pretty poor. We talk too much, we command too much, we say too much, we repeat.
I am not against the famous ‘walk the talk’. It’s just that I think the order is wrong. Walk first and then do the talking about the walk: why the walk, the benefits of the walk, why others should join the walk… Talk the walk! If people see you walking, maybe then you will have less to say. And, if as a leader, you accumulate more and more things that you don’t have to say, you are rich, and you are doing great as leader. This is lesson One of Disruptive Economics for Leadership.
The things you don’t have to say make you a rich leader.