In Russian we have a phrase, mostly used in memes, like “like a Leo Tolstoy you speak, but in fact you’re just a d**k” (meaning that you only talk beautifully but when it comes to actions you do nothing or don’t keep the promises. I need to translate a phrase “Like a Leo Tolstoy we speak, and in actions we’re Leo Tolstoy”, but used in English-speaking culture (or something stylistically close to it). Is there anything similar to it that sounds naturally?
Several expressions come to mind:
He/she walks the talk.
This means a person acts in the same way that they promise to act, or that they encourage others to act.
- He's a man of his word.
- She's a woman of her word.
A gender-neutral form "They're a person of their word" is possible, but I've never encountered it and it may not be understood. It sounds strange to me, but maybe that needs to change!
This means a person lives up to their promises, i.e. they do what they promise to do.
I say what I mean and mean what I say.
This means I'm direct and honest.
He/she leads by example.
This means a person acts the way they want others to act, thereby encouraging them to act in the same way.