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In John Maxwell’s book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently”. Maxwell claims, “Connectors live what they communicate”.

The people who learn to connect with others best live the life they talk about when they communicate.

Then Maxwell writes something I think is powerful. I’ve seen this so many times in leadership.

“Credibility! Here’s how this works in any kind of relationship: The first six months – communication overrides credibility. After six months – credibility overrides communication.

Then he closes his thought by writing, “Credibility is currency for leaders and communicators. With it, they are solvent; without it, they are bankrupt.” 

Wow! I love it! It’s so true.

In the beginning of a relationship, you hang on what people say, but as the relationship matures it doesn’t matter as much what they say – it matters what they do.

This is a golden paradigm understanding for those of us who lead others. This principle should guide us as we begin new relationships and as we manage those we’ve had for years.

So many times we believe in the initial days of leading someone that our credibility should be enough. (This is the first myth in my book The Mythical Leader.) Other times, we mistakenly believe if those we are leading know us we can simply say it and they will follow, but now they are depending on our credibility. We have to walk the talk.

How does knowing this principle impact the way you lead?

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Ron Edmondson

Author Ron Edmondson

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Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • MikeBunker says:

    I just recently finished reading this book. It is an amazing tool, with
    very applicable ideas! I am looking forward to reading some of
    his other material as well.

  • Great book and great thought you pulled from it to share. We can all use that reminder.

  • "In the beginning of a relationship, you hang on what people say, but as the relationship matures, it doesn’t matter as much what they say…it matters what they do." — Yup! No second thoughts on this. That is why St. Francis of Assisi wrote “Preach the Gospel at all times and when necessary use words.”

    One need to understand that our deeds speak louder than our words. Leaders will fail miserably when they do not walk the talk.