In all my years in management, I have learned one really valuable lesson; Consistency makes life better in all areas. This is especially true in leadership roles but can also be applied to teams and organizations. If consistency is a major value in your culture, there is little you cannot accomplish.
What does this really mean?:
Well first and foremost, if you say you are going to do something, you do it, without hesitation. If you say you are going to be somewhere, you are there, on time or early. If you create a new business process or initiative, you follow through. In my experience, consistency is critical as you develop, build, and grow your business.
There are 5 basic reasons for spending the time ensuring consistency:
- Consistency provides a basis for measurement of completed commitments.
When I try something new, I find that I need to perform it for a period of time and in a consistent manner, before I can decide if it works or not. You really can’t measure effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently? Your customers or clients look at it in the same way. Consistency lets them feel comfortable giving you more business.
I generally give new initiatives, processes, and organizational structures, at least, six months before declaring them a success or failure. During this time, you can be making minor changes which improve the process and avoids major overhauls. It demonstrates you care about the relationship whether internal or external and the measurement provides physical evidence of the performance.
Time invested in a tracking process will pay in the long run. The summer of 2016 will be exciting because we will be introducing a commitment measurement tool called “PE.ER, Performance Excellence, Engaging Recognition”. It will be a subscription model that will allow one party to request a commitment and another party to handle fulfillment of that commitment.
- Consistency establishes accountability as leaders, team members or employees.
I have always asked my employees to be accountable for their own career management, deliverables, and goals. This helps them grow and mature. On the other hand, they know they can expect the same in return from my leadership.
I made it a priority to allow time and access for each of my employees. I also tracked my own commitments to others. When we held meetings there was a consistent recording of expectations on any project or aspect of the business that required attention.
The simple fact that there is a set time to report on progress is often the catalyst that moves an initiative along to a successful end.
- Consistency supports and quantifies our reputation as leaders, teams or a company.
Great business leaders understand that growth requires a track record of success. You can’t establish a track record if you are constantly shifting gears or trying new tactics, this only leads to confusion and disengagement.
Many businesses or projects fail before they get to the finish line, not because the tactic was flawed or goals weren’t clear, but rather they lacked a consistent path with milestones and objectives. Without a documented path of success, you never know how close you are to reaching a sustainable business.
- Consistency shows why we are relevant as leaders, teams or a company.
This is a time-tested factoid: our employees and our customers need and expect a predictable flow of information from leaders. All too often I see businesses, both small and large, adopt a campaign or initiative only to end it before it gains traction.
It can be very effective to run advertisements, social media campaigns, numerous blog articles, weekly newsletters, or continual process changes throughout the year, but without some demonstrable method of tracking or monitoring, we will disappoint our employees, customers or vendors.
- Consistency reinforces and manages your message as a leader, team or company.
FACT: Your team and your customers will pay more attention to what you do rather than what you say.
Consistency in your leadership serves as a model for how they will behave. For example, if you treat a meeting as unimportant, don’t be surprised when you find they are doing the same to fellow teammates or even the customers.
Tracking commitments allow us to look back when something doesn’t work. We can look back at what happened and ask some relevant questions. Did we shift gears too quickly? Did part of the team not deliver on a commitment? Or was the expected outcome off base from the start? Most of the time, the reason tracks back to the lack of consistency.
Would love to have a discussion regarding how you can create a consistency model within your company, regardless of size. Please check out my website or call me at 630-454-4821. Looking forward to engaging with you.