Ever see a great idea or internal communications plan go down the toilet? As you watch it spiral around, you wonder, “where did it all go wrong?”

It’s the absolute worst feeling.

The point of origin for communications failure is easily explained. There are exceptions, but what we have found is the difference between two types of communication sources: Talk and Be.

On one side, someone (or some group of people) feels that achieving something is necessary in order to reach a bigger goal, no matter if it’s a square peg in a round hole or not. We call this more talk.

The other is where someone (or some group) personifies the very message they are asking you to believe in. By sheer belief, they lead you. And you are willing to follow because they are intrinsically tied to what it is they are trying to do.  This is what we call be.

For something to work—and be adopted—the people delivering the message must be it. It’s the only way they will be successful. Keep in mind wanting it, is not the same as being it. There is a big difference. For a fantastic and insightful article on this, and the difference between mission and vision, check out this piece from Fast Company on “Defining Your Company’s Vision.”

On top of more being, you’ve got to keep the message simple. Complex messaging is interpreted as less than authentic and it will fall flat… on its face. Period.

Next time you’re part of something and for some reason it just doesn’t seem to feel right. It’s probably because there’s more talk and less be.

Don’t just talk about it. Be about it.