The power of consistency in leadership

November 29, 2018
Consistency is key in leadership

In November 2018, I did a podcast on the need for consistency in leadership. I wanted to expand a little on that idea by putting together a post on the topic as well. I wanted to share a concise set of reasons that consistency is important in leadership, whether it’s in a business or in a family.

Here’s a few reasons that consistency is important in leadership:

  1. Consistency builds trust. If people are going to trust you, they need to know you will do what you say you will do. They also need they can count on you in difficult situations. Being consistent in this way will help people trust you.
  2. Consistency provides predictability. When you are consistent in your temperament and your decisions, people know what they are getting from you. Not knowing is difficult on employees and family members.
  3. Consistency empowers others. When people know what they are getting from you, they will be able to make decisions on their own because they have a strong idea about how you would make that decision. It empowers others to lead and serve others without feeling like they have to have someone else make a decision.
  4. Consistency allows others to know what is truly important. When you are consistent in your praise and your criticism, in your temperament and decision-making, you reveal what is important to you. That helps others know how to treat others, what to emphasize in the organization. And remember, what gets celebrated (or critiqued) gets repeated
  5. Consistency develops accountability. When you are consistent in behavior and results, you create a culture of accountability. And if you expect that kind of behavior in others but not yourself, you personally lose respect from others.

How do we do develop consistency?

Essentially, you are trying to establish a habit. Therefore, developing consistency is found in setting up systems and processes that are done daily. They are small behaviors, which, done over time, will become important within the organization. 

  1. Pick 3-5 important traits you want to permeate you culture. Break the traits down into behaviors and begin to model those in your organization. 
    • Make each of those traits obvious so that you can begin to execute them daily.
    • Make each of those traits attractive so that you can begin to execute them daily.
    • Make each of those behaviors easy to execute daily.
    • Make each of those behaviors satisfying to execute daily. [1]
  2. Set up accountability and use 360 degree leadership principles to evaluate your consistency.

[1] Taken from James Clear’s new book Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones

David has been a systems thinker most of his life. He has started three businesses as well as designed and developed systems and processes in existing organizations. He has a Doctorate in Leadership and has also done additional post-graduate work in communications.

W. David Phillips © 2018
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