Communicating a principle or a truth is entirely different from living it. Writing, teaching, preaching, blogging or speaking is not the same as being a living expression of the message and far from absolving one of the responsibility to live the message, confers even greater responsibility to be the message.
I believe that those of us who communicate, no matter how pedestrian our communication, are much more liable to be living expressions of what we communicate than our audiences. I am much more liable to subject myself to the principles and truths I set forth in the organizations I lead than any other stakeholder. I am much more accountable for the principles and truths I expound on my blogs than the readers of my writings.
It is very possible to speak truth and not live it. What it takes to speak truth and what it takes to live the truth are two different things and living the truth is so much harder than speaking it. Even Apostle Paul realized it because he said “I bring my body under subjection lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” It is one thing to want to change the world but another thing entirely to be the change that we seek in the world, as Ghandi said, which is much more demanding.
As communicators or leaders in whatever calling or capacity, our audiences or followers may be excused, but not us. We do not have any business leading if we are not followers ourselves. The Apostle Paul said, “follow me as I follow Christ”. This is the Christ who did not say anything but what He did as was written by St Luke, “all that Jesus began both to do and teach”.
Communicating and leading with integrity imply walking the talk, just like walking in the direction towards which we are pointing. Not only my readers/hearers or followers need to hearken or follow. My own progress requires that I hearken to and follow The Truth. It seems to me that the only way to guarantee that we walk the talk is to only talk our walk. That changes the game entirely.