I have worked with a number of Executives who indicate they want to improve their ability to influence their subordinates, peers, and superiors.
In most cases, we, those clients and I, almost always start with building trust. Then we begin to dig into the issues of effective communications, justice versus judgment, and so on. In the never-ending effort to keep writings short, this article will briefly speak to—Consistency.
Consistency is one of the keys to effective leadership. One cannot be Mary Poppins on Monday, and Attila the Hun on Friday and who knows what else during the middle of the week. Your employees and those you lead will follow your example. You must model for them what you expect of them.
No way around it, you are being watched and emulated like it or not.
Beware; consistency is a double-edged sword. It requires much of you. What you stand for will come to the surface on full display. No one is going to be better than you. Be sure of whom you are; what you stand for and live it.
Sounds simple? In my experience it is tough. Many in leadership positions try to be all things to all people. Rather than subscribe to their own sense of right and wrong they try to fall in line with someone else’s right and wrong. They try to be something they are not. It shows. And losing the respect of those who work with you, for you and you work for will quickly become the result.
Consistency becomes a serious problem for those who have difficulty shouldering the responsibilities of a leader—being responsible for everything that happens or fails to happen in their organization. When the leader consistently passes the buck for failures of the team, that leader will ruin the team and in time the organization. Some in leadership positions will lie. OK, not a surprise? The danger is telling lies to the point where it becomes the truth. A leader like this does not need coaching; they need a new job.
It is important for effective leaders to be consistent. The health of the team and organization depends on it.