Consistency Is Your Key to Leadership Success
in Management by Emily Snell
Consistency Is Your Key to Leadership Success
Some define a good leader as someone who can attract followers, and this rings true to a point. But a leader and her followers need to know where they’re headed, or they’ll wander aimlessly.
To be a true leader, you must be committed, pay attention to detail, and stay focused on your company’s core goals. Without a steadfast sense of direction, your goals become blurred, and slowly but surely, your company loses momentum. By staying consistent in how you live out your mission, you’ll benefit in these four ways:
You Will Have a Road Mapâ€¨
A successful leader has a plan and a vision. If you’re smart, you will include your team in the plan’s development, and evaluate whether each action supports your mission. If an action doesn’t advance your end goal, rethink it.
Of course, you don’t have to know all the details of your road map, but you should be able to paint a big picture for your team members to guide them. Be transparent about your progress. Plan your work, and work your plan.
Your Team Will Feel Unified
When you outline a goal, you must then lead by example. That means being consistent each day, showing your employees you’re working with them toward a common mission. Staff members will see you’re disciplined and will be motivated to follow in your footsteps. And when workers feel secure that everyone is on the same team, they’ll be more satisfied.
But if you fluctuate in your methods, you’ll create inconsistencies that disrupt the team’s harmony. Imagine a baseball team that has repeatedly practiced with everyone in the same position: It likely shines on the field. But when you change the players’ positions, it doesn’t matter how much they had practiced — they aren’t likely to perform as well.
Being steadfast proves you want your teammates to get maximum experience in the positions they belong in. As each player grows stronger in those positions, the entire team will grow.
You’ll Establish Accountability
Vacillating in how you execute your role sends mixed signals to employees. For example, if one employee constantly arrives late and is not reprimanded, but another shows up late and is put into a coaching situation, your workers will see the injustice and determine accountability has no structure within your company.
When accountability goes out the window, so does an effective workforce. You must implement your practices companywide, ensuring each employee will be held to the same standards of conduct.
You’ll Build Your Brandâ€¨
Just as your company has a brand, so does each employee. When your company’s brand and your employees’ brands combine just right, it leads to major success regarding employee and customer satisfaction.
If you’re inconsistent, you’ll create an underdeveloped brand, which will result in an underdeveloped workforce. Be resolute in sculpting your brand — one that’s disciplined, ethical, respectful, accountable and reliable. As you live out your brand, your teammates will be motivated to nurture it, too.
Put It All Together
Many companies find their workforces are simple reflections of their leaders, managers and supervisors. And while employees may deviate from your company mission, it’s your job to guide them back to the right path by sticking to it yourself. Here are a few tips for establishing consistency within your daily operations:
Check Your Mood
We all have days when everything goes wrong. Whether you lock your keys in your car, spill hot coffee all over your lap, or get in a fender bender, you need to check yourself as soon as you enter the office. When you show up at work in a bad mood, it negatively affects other people.
For me, reading faith-driven leadership lessons before work refreshes me and prepares me to take on the day. Over the years, I have learned I have the opportunity to be the most positive influence on someone each day. And by checking my mood each morning, I’m more consistent in the way I present myself to my employees.
Don’t Assume Everyone Knows What You’re Talking About
If you’ve spent time building a great team, you know everyone is capable of performing. But if you don’t give your people the right tools, they can’t pull success out of thin air. Remove the sand in the gears by communicating effectively and sharing the direction. You can’t assume your workers always know what you’re talking about. Be transparent, accessible and unswerving in your communication patterns.
Everyone who knows me knows I believe in transparency and open communication because a leader can accomplish much more with a team that fully understands its direction and the leader’s expectations. Open communication has become extremely helpful in my career, especially in the development of people.
Always Say Thank You
Showing appreciation and gratitude to your team with just two small words goes a long way. By being a leader who stops to say thank you, you show that you see, listen, and know what is happening in your organization. As human beings, we all want to be recognized and appreciated for what we do. It takes so little and means so much.
Stay Calm in the Face of Chaos
When Capt. Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger landed his disabled jetliner in the Hudson River without injuring any passengers, it wasn’t just because he was a veteran pilot; it was because he stayed calm. He didn’t speak to the passengers until about 90 seconds before they hit the water, but when he did, he stayed composed and professional: “Brace for impact.”
The same can be said for business leadership: It’s important to stay calm, especially during strenuous situations. If your employees have to walk on eggshells around you, that’s a signal to check your emotions and mood. Your workers should consider it predictable that you’ll handle all situations with a level head.
Show You’re Passionate about Your Work
Employees want to see their bosses also love what they do. Mona Williams, retired VP of Corporate Communications at Walmart, was one of the best mentors and bosses I’ve ever had because she was so passionate about her work.
When we worked together, I knew without a doubt she was right there alongside the team, striving to share our story. She didn’t waver, and we all knew our mission. She was supportive and predictable: always on and always there. Her work demonstrates that when you’re passionately committed, others will follow suit.
If you’ve failed to be a steadfast leader, don’t fret. Tomorrow is a new day, and you can easily turn things around. Some of the world’s greatest business leaders failed many times before they discovered the importance of being consistent. It starts with following the straight and narrow path you’ve set for yourself.