As leaders in a world fraught with uncertainty and volatility, we are unable to control external events or circumstances. What we can control however, is the way we interact, react and respond to effort within the workplace.
Consistency is defined as, "Acting or done in the same way over time, especially so as to be fair or accurate”. A dependable leader is someone who inspires confidence, autonomy and belief among their peers and staff. Less time worrying about how a leader is going to take charge provides employees more time to focus on growing the business and servicing customers. Just as importantly, the by-product of this is the respect leaders gain from their employees – because inconsistency breeds fear.
As our work and personal lives continue to become more intertwined, it’s important that leaders champion predictable actions, reliable thoughts and drive inevitable outcomes to construct a workplace culture built on trust and respect.
Consistency leads to predictability
Employees perform best when their environments are predictable. We live in a faster, more innovative, less patient, and less predictable world than ever before. Providing employees and stakeholders with a consistent leadership style results in a level of comfort and certainty. Team members need to know what they will be facing when walking into the office so that they can focus on their job, rather than survival.
Successful leaders continually evaluate and embrace their own strengths and leverage these to help encourage autonomous thinking amongst their employees. Predictability gives employees impetus to make sacrifices today, knowing that they will be rewarded tomorrow. Having a leader grounded in regularity helps provide employees with a safe haven, particularly in an unstable world.
Consistency breeds respect
As leaders, we expect consistency from our employee’s performance and deliverables, so the same should be expected in the way we lead. If you model inconsistency and unpredictability you will create a culture of inconsistency and contempt.
As long your team is considerate and remains consistent, you should have no trouble creating a tight, more efficient, more satisfied squad constructed with respect. There is no one-size-fits-all leader, but a consistent leader is able to build a steadfast team that will stand behind them and fight for the company, because they understand and appreciate how you lead.
So, how can you become a more consistent leader?
- Dedicate time to consistency
Leaders must commit to consistency. Demanding careers leave little diary space for conversations and education around consistency, but it is imperative to make time. After committing to a plan of action, see it through to completion. The best way to do this is to focus on achieving one goal at a time.
Leaders that dedicate time to consistency teach their teams how to maintain a stable presence with their clients and give them the tools to boost credibility. Maintaining a consistent message improves customer and community awareness of your business – but this takes time and perseverance to achieve.
- Hold employees accountable and celebrate their successes
Accountability is where and how employees learn, and it is key to improving their performance. To achieve the aspirations of the company, long or short term, people must work together and share accountability. Employees who work together towards a common goal help their workplace become more accountable, in turn making the business more productive, efficient and profitable.
If your team reaches important milestones, honour them. The celebration of success not only strengthens the overall team comradery, but also means your employees associate positive experiences with the consistent reviewing of results. This is especially important to us at Veeam.
- Self-monitor your own moods and actions
Nobody is perfect but the better you become at perceiving your own moods and attitudes and adjust your behaviour accordingly, the greater chance you have of being a consistent leader. If you don’t control yourself, you can come across as inconsistent in behaviour; unsure and unreliable. Not knowing which style of leader will be in the office each day can be very stressful for your team.
A consistent leader maintains the same characteristics whether things are going well or not. Leaders that can maintain consistent attitudes and actions inspire far more confidence than leaders who portray a sense of anxiety and unease.
- Clearly communicate expectations
Clearly outlined expectations are essential if you are going to be a more consistent leader. Plainly setting expectations means that your team is fully informed of their obligations. This includes timings for when tasks need to take place and comprehensive details of what needs to be done. If you can be transparent about the high-priority or non-negotiable aspects of the work, this will give employees a practical guideline to follow. It also ensures there are no last-minute shocks and creates an environment of mutual accountability and respect.
Consistency, or lack thereof, can be the defining factor between failure or success. Consistent progress can only be achieved through consistent leadership. Consistency in leadership is not so much about what we do to reach a goal, it's more about the way in which we get there. Adhering to your own personal values and principals motivates employees to follow-suit. By doing this, more effective and uniform leadership can be attained.