Consistency allows you to be a leader who is predictable and reliable.
Today’s guest post is by Joe Judge, coauthor of Leadership is Overcoming the Natural: 52 Maxims to Move Beyond Instinct.
I once had to give an employee constructive feedback about being too impatient, irritable, and unmotivated at work. He shrugged, apparently unwilling to acknowledge the problem.
In response, I asked, “How does this character flaw manifest with your kids at home?” That question got his attention because it shed light on his unproductive pattern of behavior in a whole new context.
Your leadership style cannot be compartmentalized because your behavior and principles at work inevitably reflect your actions outside of work. Your job, family life, and community relationships are all impacted by who you are at your core.
Even when you’re not consciously aware of it, your unconscious controls your actions. Recognizing your character’s positive and negative aspects that influence your leadership style is crucial.
Your leadership qualities will be under the microscope
Since leaders face constant scrutiny, they must have a steadfast leadership approach, even in minor interactions. Your leadership role is not about reaching a goal or destination but rather about a long and arduous journey, and to be an effective leader, every step you take during that long trek must be marked by consistency.
People are watching every move you make. If you want them to know who you are as a leader, show them consistently who you are as a person.
Effective leadership means avoiding confusion in your leadership approach
Consistency allows you to be a leader who is predictable and reliable. When you are steadfast and authentic as a leader, you craft a consistent narrative over time, allowing you to maintain credibility and develop trust with the people under you.
The people following you need to see consistent behavior from you and know what they can expect. Only when they feel secure enough in their roles can they focus on doing great work.
The challenges standing in the way of Consistency and leadership success
As a leader, you will find that external stressors are the greatest challenge to your ability to serve with consistency. You will also face high expectations for results and performance as the people above and below you will challenge your approach.
All of these pressures will tempt you to retreat, change tactics, and make knee-jerk decisions. However, if you make changes without warning, explanation, or communication, people will wonder if they can rely on your leadership. Quick fixes rarely solve problems, but consistency enables you to maintain influence over your team — even when times get tough.
Effective communication is one of the leadership techniques that most promotes consistency
Transparent communication is pivotal in ensuring your consistency as a leader because it keeps everyone on the same page and reduces misunderstandings. When you communicate consistently, team members see how their work fits the bigger picture. They know what is going on, feel included, feel like their part matters, and stay engaged with your vision. With effective communication, there is no room for an “us vs. them” or an “outsider” mentality.
To communicate with transparency, be open about what’s working well and what isn’t. Share your goals, challenges, and plans for moving forward — especially when things aren’t going according to plan. Remember, your team is counting on a leader capable of consistent direction and guidance.
Effective leadership requires the trust-building power of consistency
Consistency is the foundation of trust because it creates stability and a culture of confidence. When people cannot trust you, they will not follow you.
You can’t lead without trust, and you won’t build trust if you don’t show up consistently as yourself in all areas of your life: work, home, and community. Leaders who don’t practice what they preach are not credible — they are talking heads with no real substance behind their words and actions. Everyone is familiar with this kind of leader, and no one wants anything to do with them.
You can’t be a different person at home, at work, and with your friends, so observe how you interact in these environments and become the person who best serves your family, neighbors, and co-workers. As you lead with consistency, you’ll create trust and loyalty. You’ll inspire a team ready to do their best work and stakeholders confident in your vision.
Joe Judge is the coauthor of Leadership Is Overcoming the Natural: 52 Maxims To Move Beyond Instinct (CLICK HERE to get your copy). Joe has spent his entire adult life working with people. As a young pastor within the Lutheran Church, Joe was introduced to Leadership Development through a partnership with the Center for Creative Leadership. In 2000, Joe joined Staub Leadership Solutions in Greensboro, NC, where a year later he was made both partner and president. Joe’s specialty is in helping individuals, teams, and organizations successfully align behaviors in order to achieve their stated objectives.
Dr. Michael Merrill is a distinguished physician executive, author, and educator with a multifaceted career. Dr. Merrill holds the position of Chief Medical Officer at Brook Health, a provider of remote care services. Additionally, he imparts his knowledge by teaching a leadership course at D’Youville University. Dr. Merrill possesses master’s degrees in epidemiology, journalism, and business, showcasing his diverse and extensive expertise. Dr. Merrill offers a unique perspective on healthcare leadership, making him an invaluable resource for navigating the complex healthcare landscape.
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