The Power of Consistency in Leadership
Have you ever tried to drive a nail through a wall with a hammer? You have to strike the head of the nail correctly and consistently to ensure the desired outcome. Consistent strokes will smoothly drive the nail straight into the wall. You see, consistency is of paramount importance to achieve the desired results. So, as leaders if you want to achieve your organization’s goals, there is just one mantra that can get you there - consistent action!
The concept of consistency seems simple but very often leaders have struggled with it. This may be because they are simply not focussed, committed or disciplined to stick to a plan and see it through to completion. They give up too fast when they don’t obtain quick results. But, consistency is about incremental progress over an extended period. It is all about repeating the same actions day-after-day, improvising through errors and making the necessary adjustments along the way.
Consistency is the basis upon which a leader builds trust and it is this trust that encourages others to follow. Isn’t it hard to follow “leaders” who are clueless about what they are? Isn’t it frustrating to follow instructions from a manager who says one thing but does another? How confident do you feel about a leader who shows inconsistency in dealing with similar issues at different points in time?
Here’s why consistency matters in leadership:
- Helps give vision to a mission. A clear vision helps gain employee participation and co-operation. Employees need to know where they are headed.
- Helps focus and follow-up on critical issues. The most exhausting and demoralizing experience for employees is that of wasting time and energy on projects that have lost management buy-in, for no apparent reason.
- Establishes reputation and makes a leader relevant if s/he stays on track to achieve objectives. Changing tactics too fast and fluctuating methods of working send mixed signals to employees and creates inconsistencies within the team.
- Leads to greater employee security and satisfaction. It is pleasant working with leaders who lead by example.
- Commands respect and trust of employees without the fear of uncalled for discrimination.