In church on Sunday, we read James 3:11 which talks about how a spring doesn't spew forth both salt and fresh water.
I thought long and hard about this, as I am in the midst of writing a book about trust in schools. We, as leaders, or teachers, or....well, anyone, cannot expect to say we espouse certain beliefs and then act in a way that disputes that. Well, we can, but our reputation is shot if we do.
Let's look at an example. Say I believe in using only kind words. That doesn't mean I'm not honest. On the contrary, as a leader, I have to honestly critique myself and the folks whom I supervise. And employees want honest feedback---but there is no reason this feedback can't be both honest and kind. So, if that's not the problem, what is? Well, what if when I am not at work, I use a lot of curse words....just for effect in my speaking? We might say, "Hey, what I do in my private life doesn't have anything to do with my public life?" Au contraire, mon frere. The problem with that view of life is that it doesn't take into account that someone always sees us. Whether you take that to mean people are watching you or you are convinced that a Higher Power is always watching over you, depends entirely on your beliefs.
But I believe we cannot tout one belief while exhibiting an opposite action without confusing people.
What about leaders who say, "We have to work together" but then they never allow others to pitch in and build teamwork?
What about folks who say, "You can contact me anytime" but then are completely put out when they are contacted?
We need to act consistently with our beliefs or we will begin to look untrustworthy.
Just for today, be aware of what you are espousing and what you are doing.