By Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.
Why do people shop at chain retailers? Why do people frequent the same restaurants? More often than not, it’s consistency. We all like to be thought of as adventurous and unique, but many times, we follow the same habits that fall within our individual comfort zone.
As a leader, it’s important to be consistent, especially in areas such as work ethic, moral standards, and considerations. How would two employees feel if one was making substantially more money than the other for doing the same work? How would one feel about the other if, when they were both late, only one received a reprimand and the other received no discipline…or was even praised? Setting standards for yourself can have a positive impact on those with whom you interact at home and at work. Don’t misunderstand; it’s fun and exciting to be spontaneous and most people like the occasional surprise, but a steady disposition is appreciated, and in business is important to your success.
When you truly think through what it can mean to be consistent in your business, you will see some clear potential rewards. Consistency can strengthen your message (branding is so important in today’s market), establish your reputation (who wants to deal with anyone who has a credibility issue?), keep you relevant (it’s rare when cutting-edge is considered a shortfall), creates accountability (you want your employees to be accountable, then show them how with your actions), and identifies points of reference (how do we improve if not with milestones and regular self-examination?).
The following can help to maintain an organization and are even more critical when growing a team:
1) Keep everyone heading in the same direction. Conflict in a mission can often come from the top down. Everyone on your team needs to be clear on where the organization is going and what role in its success they need to play.
2) Think through important situations. “Shooting from the hip” at times may be necessary, but whenever possible, let people know that you give careful consideration to important decisions. People will respect the offered solution when they know you have spent time on it.
3) Develop productive habits. Muscle memory can be a valuable tool. Simple tasks can sometimes be a drain of resources. With systems in place, habits form and the more mundane actions will seem to take care of themselves when they turn into good habits.
4) Create an employee manual. Imagine a company where all the employees know what to do and when to do it. Okay, you can wake up now. While this may be a fantasy, the only way to move in this direction is to spell out (in as much details as your employees will absorb) what the company expects from their team members.
5) Set the example. We are being watched. I know that sounds creepy, but anyone who supervises people knows this to be true. So what are your people seeing?
Remember: “It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently.” ~ Anthony Robbins