PennWell Dental Community
As I sat at the Tulsa airport and waited to board my flight to Dallas/Fort Worth, I looked up as the crew began to board the plane and get it ready for takeoff. I smiled when I saw the captain pulling his bag on the plane with a bumper sticker that read, "I have no idea where I'm going."
Of course, it was in jest. He knew exactly where he was going (thank goodness) and he had every tool he needed to make sure the 40-minute flight was smooth and quick (again, thank goodness). I walked off the plane, said thanks, and headed on to my gate for my flight to Seattle. I'm sure he was heading somewhere else as well ... and knew where he was going.
His bumper sticker did get me thinking, however, about the number of people we all know who proclaim to the world they know exactly where they're going and they have every tool they need to get there ... yet they never do. They veer off course. They say they're going to Dallas but end up in Buenos Aires instead.
They are legends in their own minds before they've ever started their perceived journey to greatness. Yes, they've built their own statue in the town square and envisioned exactly the color of flowers people will lay at their feet in their honor.
I've seen my share of these "fake leaders" numerous times during my career. These people tell me one thing and then their actions show a completely different side. There's nothing that is more disappointing to me than to see someone who is all talk and has nothing else to back it up ... or someone who says something only to make themselves look better. That person isn't just a fake leader, he or she is a fake ... period.
John C. Maxwell once said, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." Talk is cheap, my friends. Actions are what you're judged by, both in your personal and professional lives. If you're telling the world how great you are or how amazing your company and/or product is, make sure your claims can be backed up by people who have worked with you in the past. If they can't, maybe you should put that statue construction on hold.