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I am an honours graduate (BSc. Hons. Strath-Glasgow) coupled with an MBA-ICG (Paris) , experienced, Metallurgist - Materials Scientist and Engineer & Manager turned Consultant & Blogger. I specialised in Superalloys (aero-engine_Seminal Work peer reviewed & published IOM3_MST, Feb.1985, the 2nd issue of this now well known journal dedicated to the fundamental aspects in our multidisciplinary subject area ) My experience over a wide range of Special Alloys is extensive. (Cryogenic,Controlled Expansion-Dilatometric,Magnetic, Corrosion Resistant Grades and finally HSLA-Aircraft Undercarriage. (Great Stuff-I was lucky) My responibilities were especially in Melting & Refining to 1st Forming stage. Responsibilities include QC,QA & Accounting, Melt/Remelt Process  & Products, R&D.  Bilingual English-French. 
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Tuesday, 25 November 2014


I have chosen to start this post with the following quotation attributed to Vikas Swarup’s co-principle character CEO, Vinay Mohan Acharya.

“A leader doesn't have to be the smartest, the strongest of the prettiest. I’d rather have a less-than-brilliant leader as my CEO than a genius but gutless plodder, because leadership is the most important factor for a business to succeed.” 

Such considerations, phrased in more academic terms, could also be attributed, for example, to HBR author Daniel Goleman in his article; 

“What makes a leader" HBR. Jan 2004.

To quote Goleman;

Every business person knows a story about a highly intelligent, highly skilled executive who was promoted into a leadership position only to fail at the job. And they also know a story about someone with solid—but not extraordinary—intellectual abilities and technical skills who was promoted into a similar position and then soared."


Or in the more vulgar response to bragging used in my youth;
“Put your money where your mouth is!”

Swarup’s CEO illustrates this by some well chosen analogies in the following quotations:

“Just as machines need maintenance, and products need marketing, employees need direction. It is the leader who provides that direction, who encourages and inspires ordinary people to do extra-ordinary tasks. For this the leader has to walk the talk.”

“In matters of style, a leader swims with the current; but, in matters of principle he stands like a rock.”  Swarup again, through his CEO, paraphrases Thomas Jefferson.
Well phrased communication could also be termed “Talking the walk” used mostly in USA. This underscores two points 
-A. that things are being done 
B. that they must be seen to have been done. 

Again this is well illustrated in HBR article by Bill Taylor.

COMMUNICATION: The Best Leaders “Talk the Walk” HBR AUGUST 7, 2014.

NB. Taylor a writer, a speaker, and entrepreneur both “Walks the Talk” and “Talks the Walk”.

He introduces his HBR article as follows:

“One of the most ubiquitous aphorisms in business is that the best leaders understand the need to “walk the talk” — that is, their behaviour and day-to-day actions have to match the aspirations they have for their colleagues and organisation. But the more time I spend with game-changing innovators and high-performing companies, the more I appreciate the need for leaders to “talk the walk” — that is, to be able to explain, in language that is unique to their field and compelling to their colleagues and customers, why what they do matters and how they expect to win. The only sustainable form of business leadership is thought leadership. And leaders that think differently about their business invariably talk about it differently as well.”

The reader may find some historical notes on quotations below. Here the link is directly related to the subject of "Walking the Talk", of course.

1.  Daniel Goleman in his article:

2. Bill Taylor

(Bill Taylor is a writer, a speaker, and entrepreneur who has shaped the global conversation about the best ways to compete, innovate, and succeed. As a co-founder and founding editor of Fast Company,)

3. Historical Sources of the notion  “WALK THE TALK”
1.      Origines: Shakespeare's Richard III, 1594 in the words of his character “The 1st Murderer
                                    Fear not, my lord, we will not stand to prate;
                                    Talkers are no good doers: be assured
                                    We come to use our hands and not our tongues.
2.      Or again; 
         In Man and Superman, 1903, George Bernard Shaw suggested that:
                                  "He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches."

NB. No offence is  intended either  to Teachers and Professors in general or to HBR contributors!

3.      Benjamin Franklin is reputed to have coined the proverbial saying:
                                   "Well done is better than well said".   

                                                             Ref : The Phrase Finder