A Junto Strategy Project
A favorite leadership quote of mine that is attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson is: “What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” It is a powerful reminder that when it comes to leadership, our greatest tool for communication is example.
Which brings me to a story that my cousin, Justin, recently shared on Facebook:
“Eight years ago a sub-contractor building furniture for our company was injured and sued me claiming I was his employeer. Because of Utah case law the suit, became very messy quickly and drug on for years. Last month we finally settled out of court with him and agreed to come in with cash to end the litigation and call it quits. Where this story gets good is that on paper I was the only owner of our furniture company, but on a hand shake, my friend and I had been 50/50 partners. We had shared profits and income while in business. But on official record I was the liable party. Because of this the agreed upon settlement amount fell on my shoulders. How impressed I was when my friend on his own, whom I haven’t done business with in over 8 years, brought a check to my house to cover his half of the settlement. What an amazing person! I was so impressed. He didn’t have to do that. And the amount was substantial (several thousand dollars). What a great example of business ethics and morals.”
A handshake and a promise kept. Powerful!
This true partner did not have to create a workshop or a program or a long letter to my cousin to tell him about being a great partner. He simply did. As I see many efforts to improve ethical behavior or interpersonal relationships or issues with sexual harassment or leadership at any level in an organization, I wonder if the solution is far more simple (that doesn’t mean easier) than we try to make it. There is great power in “DO.”