The “Consistency” Law
Let’s continue our discovery journey into the fundamentals of the Leadership Laws of Attraction. In this briefing, we will discuss the “Consistency” Law. In my ongoing participation as a student in the study of great leadership, one of the Laws of Attraction I have found to be dominant across the diverse landscape of leadership is the “Consistency” factor.
It seems that productive leaders find a way to accomplish what they are committed to with a high level of consistency. I do not mean it as being automatic or mechanical; it is more a matter of being intentional as they are guided by their vision of the future. My observation is that it requires a high level of consciousness and being present in the present moment. After all, we want the consistency to be positive, not negative. And it does work both ways. You can cause a consistently poor performance as well as a consistently exceptional performance.
As I dwelled in this discovery process, I had an insight. I will say it in a bit of a funny way: one of the fundamental ways of being for human beings is being consistent in being inconsistent. Being consistent is not automatic at all. Human beings are notorious for being inconsistent over time. That is why it is such a dominant Law of Attraction; it is more rare than common. When people experience the consistency in action it is actually quite attractive. I never have enough (and I know you are the same way, too) of watching Tiger Woods doing what he does with such consistency, over and over and over again. It never gets old. It is that attractive –consistency, that is (not the Tiger).
Why is it important to make this statement? Well, I am committed that you see that being consistent is more than just taking actions for the sake of being in action. There is a distinct difference between being Constant and being Consistent. One is unconscious and the other is conscious. If you are interested in including consistency in your leadership DNA, you’d better define, “consistency in what?”
What the “Consistency” Law is founded on:
1.Repetition is the first cornerstone of consistency. The doing of something over and over and over again is repetition. The doing of something over and over and over as though you are doing it every time as if it is your first time –that is the beginning of consistency. Repetition is the best friend of consistency!
2.Using Best Practices as best practices. Consistency becomes much more powerful if it is exercised inside a set of best practices. Best practices are all of what you have learned from what not to do. They are invented and developed at the very end of the learning cycle. Best practices are designed to be practiced –duh!
3.Structure, Structure, and Structure. The structure is the “house” of Consistency. Consistency lives and is developed in structure. The relationship between structure and consistency is the same as the relationship between actions and results. Knock… Knock… Knock… Who’s there? Structure. Structure who? Structure for consistency.
4.Assess, evaluate, and change. Consistency needs to be crafted. Assess your actions, evaluate the outcomes and change what is not working –and do it constantly. The design of consistency is the sum of what you do that is working after you have learned what is not working. If you will not do it, someone else will –and you may not like the results!
5.An integral part of consistency is discipline. Complete the “motion” - your actions, strategy, decisions, etc. –even if you know that you missed. Otherwise, your learning will be lacking. It is powerful to understand or have access to what you are consistently not good at, so you will be able to change it. Great leaders possess the discipline to have discipline!
6.Saying “No” is as powerful as saying “Yes”. A leader can’t possibly be consistent in everything all the time. If you say “Yes” to everything, you will become at best consistently inconsistent. Remember, a leader can’t afford to become a master of inconsistency!
In order to be consistently good at something, you first will (almost surely) be terrible at it to begin with. That is JUST THE NATURE OF LEARNING –to NOT be good at something, to begin with. (I know, the “looking good” demon is all over you right now.) Get over it! There is nothing more attractive than someone who is eager to learn. (It works with my wife… so far…) Consistency is created by repeatedly being inconsistent with something until you tip it over.
The only tools you have in your possession are your commitment, your willingness to look “bad”, and your capacity to listen and to follow instructions (God forbid!). One day this summer I went to the driving range with my son. One of my friends welcomed me by saying, “You are very consistent in practicing your game.” My son replied, “Yes, and he is still consistently bad at it!”
You can’t be romancing or just resting on those areas that you are consistent with. A leader may feel good about something, but people have the tendency to mostly see or pay attention to their inconsistencies. Focus your time and resources on what needs work or improvement. (You are not perfect after all, though I know you and I think we are…) That is much more effective and attractive.