What does all Talk and No Action make You?

by Daniel Ngari on June 12, 2009

We all know “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. But what does “all talk and no action” make you?  What impact does talking without follow-through have on your personal brand? What impact does making false promises have on your reputation?  Today’s post is dedicated to those amongst us that are action impaired.

The Art of Satisfaction

Once upon a time, a man planned a date on a revolving restaurant in a big skyscraper in the heart of the city. He spoke to a friend who had been to that restaurant and was assured that that was one of the best restaurants in his city. He went to their website and loved everything he saw. They had a flashy presentation on the delightful dining experience. He was sold. He called the restaurant and reserved a table for Friday evening…

Come Friday, he and his date went out for the dinner date. The restaurant had valet parking and after getting off the car, they walked up to the lift. Everything about this restaurant was romantic, she thought. Then they got to the 60th floor where the restaurant was located.

They were made to wait for a table for 30 minutes (standing). Then they sat down and waited for another 30 minutes for the waiter to notice them again. As if that was not enough, they waited for way more than an hour for their food to arrive. She kept reminding herself that it was not a fast food restaurant, but boy, was she hungry!

How satisfied people are with you depends on the promise you sold them. Did your impressive resume impress your boss so much but your performance on the job has not matched up to expectations? No wonder she is not satisfied.

Satisfaction is the difference between expectations and actual performance. It is a delicate balancing act. The trick is to under promise and over deliver. If you are big on making threats and promises, then be bigger in implementing them. Be bigger in taking action.

Have a Bias for Action

I am a computer programmer. One of the problems that many programmers have is that they tend to over analyze and over think of the most creative ways of solving a particular problem. This may come at the expense of the actual writing of the software. We call it analysis paralysis.

Don’t spend a disproportionate amount of time and effort analyzing how to solve your problem or how to get to your goal. Instead, have a bias for action. Borrow from our friends at Nike – “Just Do It!”.

Every step you make towards your goal (action), will give you more confidence and lessons, even if you fail. Like this blog for example. I spent so much time last year thinking of what kind of features to have, what kind of community to cultivate etc. Those were just delaying tactics, I later realized. That is why this year, I decide to just do it. It may not be perfect, but at least it is out there, touching the lives of a few people.

Does your talk match your punch?

I have always admired Mohammad Ali. He unleashed a sharp mouth to the American public in the 1970s. But luckily for him, he could match his talk with the punches in the ring. What impact do you think it would have had on his personal brand if he did not have the punch to match his words? Here are a few of his words…

“I am America. I am the part you won’t recognize, but get used to me. Black, confident, cocky — my name, not yours. My religion, not yours. My goals, my own. Get used to me.”  Muhammad Ali

“I’m the king of the world, I am the greatest, I’m Muhammad Ali. I shook up the world, I am the greatest, I’m king of the world, I’m pretty, I’m pretty, I’m a bad man, you heard me I’m a bad man. Archie Moore fell in four, Liston wanted me more, so since he’s so great, I’m a make him fall in eight, I’m a bad man, I’m king of the world! I’m 22 years old and ain’t got a mark on my face, I’m pretty, I easily survived six rounds with that ugly bear, because I am the greatest.” Muhammad Ali

Just before the fight in Manila, Thriller in Manila, Ali tounted  Joe Frazier saying “It’s gonna be a chilla, and a killa, and a thrilla, when I get the Gorilla in Manila.”

My friend, think carefully about your words. Make sure you can back them up. Don’t talk like Ali if you don’t have the punch. It may be better to be known as a quite achiever than the big mouth without the punch.

Inspiring Action Quotes

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing. - Albert Einstein.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement. Alfred Adler

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action. Benjamin Disraeli

You cannot change anything in your life with intention alone, which can become a watered-down, occasional hope that you’ll get to tomorrow. Intention without action is useless. Caroline Myss

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle. Kahlil Gibran

“Do-so” is more important than “say-so.” Pete Seeger

Good thoughts are no better than good dreams, unless they be executed. Ralph Waldo Emerson

Summary

Do you want to be a talking brand or a doing brand? It is your choice. Your personal brand image is the difference between what you make people expect (using your words for example), and what you actually deliver (through your actions).

{ 16 comments }

Joy June 15, 2009 at 2:09 pm

good one….you may have the brightest ideas in the world but if all you do is talk about them and ‘plan’ how you are going to work so hard on them…they will never help you, you will never do anything to change the world or place food on your table…i agree with Brenda actions speak louder than words… Good day Daniel.

jafeni karanja June 14, 2009 at 2:35 am

I am going to start doing it from this moment onwards tomorrow as it was said before is a language used by losers. Thanks Dan another winner in the making

paula June 13, 2009 at 7:22 am

The story up there is interesting.. i don’t think i could get the patience to wait for that long!!! But the example is perfect.. i love your description Dan..how have u been?

Prince Miyake June 12, 2009 at 6:19 pm

brilliant Dan..procrastination is a b****h they say..methinks it should be rephrased as ‘all talk and no action makes you a dull boy’ lol…its so true God loves the doer..

Daniel Ngari June 12, 2009 at 10:59 pm

Hey Prince, long time! Lets all strive to be doers.

Brenda Njeru June 12, 2009 at 2:55 pm

Actions speak louder than words:) For sure

Daniel Ngari June 12, 2009 at 10:58 pm

Hey Brenda , true that.

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