Actions Speak Louder Than Speeches

Great work doesn’t just spring from the minds of one or two creative people. It is produced by an entire organization that understands and encourages that greatness. Such environments cannot be created by fiat. They are built cumulatively by every manager in the organization, bit by bit, over time, by hundreds of thousands of events–every hello, every hallways conversation, every memo, every decision and every interaction with every employee in the organizations…

…When all is said and done, managers influence their employees less by what they say than by what they do. Yet, day in and day out, manager nick, dent and trample on the very same standards that they demand their employees observe.

— James X. Mullen, in “Actions Speak Louder Than Speeches” — Manager’s Journal, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 1995

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