Do what You Say and Say what You Do


– Aubrey Rebello  –

Business Owners , CEOs , and even our Prime Minister work long hours; but are still not able to complete all they had targeted and this leads to disappointment.

Prioritising and planning are obvious areas they need to work on to give better results.

I have   however found that one simple work ethic can bring remarkable results. I call this, “Do What You Say and Say What You Do”

Sounds very simple but what is the reality?

When someone is late for a meeting you get a call “I will be there in 2 minutes.” How precise? In reality it could mean anything from 10, 15 minutes to even 30 minutes.

‘A Task will be completed in 10 days’ is generally not completed by due date. When delayed, there is rarely a delay indication with reasons and  new completion date.

Sometimes ‘Task Completed’ may not mean full completion. For example, only 5 out of 7 items in the task are complete. Rarely will someone say only 5 out of 7 items completed and balance 2 will be completed in 3 days.

In India many of us “Do not Do what we Say and we do not Say (precisely) what we do.” We have a “Chalta Hai ” Attitude .

With this work ethic, to get anything done requires follow-up. We can never be sure of committed dates and the start of dependent subsequent activities!

End result is delays, reviews and meetings, phone calls, mails and disappointment.

Imagine how it will be if everyone follows “Do what You Say and Say what You Do”

This work ethic will require that commitments are given after all aspects and dependencies of task completion are factored, and every effort is made to meet committed dates. Start with simple things like being on time for a meeting.

If committed dates cannot be met it should be conveyed before the due date with reasons and a new date given. Gradually with better analysis of all factors that impact the outcome, slippage from committed dates should reduce. Any slippage, then, can only be due to dependencies on which you have no control or cannot be factored in accurately.

Few Benefits that will happen with this work ethic are:

·         Follow-up activity will reduce.

·         Future tasks based on completion of previous task can be planned and scheduled better and projects completed earlier

·         Meetings and reviews will be shorter and crisper.

·         Increase in Productivity and Customer Satisfaction.

This Work Ethic does not require anyone to work beyond his or her level of capability and improves a team dynamic because it only requires commitment to completion dates, timeliness and preciseness in communication.  It can therefore be practiced by everybody: by the Expert, by the non Expert, by the “A” Graded Team members as well as the” C” graded Team members.

Old habits die hard, and a Team Leader should explain the work ethic to his Team and regularly review whether the new work ethic is followed or not. The approach has to be top down with Leaders following the work ethic first.

Sometimes there is intense pressure from Customers, Management, Electorates, to commit delivery in a shorter time span. To get out of pressure situation some people commit to a time which they are unsure about. This should be avoided. It is better to bear the unpleasantness now and meet your committed dates. After all just like no baby can be delivered before 9 months some tasks may require more time than demanded.

With regular persuasion it will take 3 to 6 months for the Work Ethic to be part of a Team’s DNA.

We must practice this work ethic in our Personal and Professional lives and in Government and Politics to make our country Vibrant and Great.

Even a focused and hardworking Prime Minister will be able to deliver better results only if the entire Government machinery embeds this work ethic.

I believe that following this Work Ethic is like picking the lowest hanging fruit which can make our Country Great. We must therefore, strive to drive this work ethics in our everyday lives and this will ensure a great future for all of us.


About the Author

Aubrey Rebello

Mentor and Executive Coach

Aubrey Rebello  is a Mentor & Executive Coach with over 40 years of Corporate Experience .He is  an Engineer from IIT Bombay, and  MBA, 1st Rank Gold Medalist from IIM Ahmadabad.


Disclaimer : The views expressed by the author in this feature are entirely his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of INVC NEWS.


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