In many social structures, including organizational, political and familial, leaders struggle due to a lack of consistency. Layered consistency in goals, actions and across individuals will greatly improve the chances of winning the hearts, minds and corresponding support of desired followers.
Clearly defined goals are critical for leadership success, providing the team necessary direction. As much as possible, minimize goal changes. If goals must be modified, reasons should be given showing how the change supports larger objectives. During any necessary change, always confirm what will be remaining the same, providing the necessary foundation from which to work. Consistency in priorities gives followers something to count on for continued individual and team efforts.
Decisions and actions in support of defined goals provide another layer of consistency for success. It is a leader’s responsibility to connect the dots for followers, clarifying how choices and corresponding behaviors support accomplishing agreed upon objectives. The response you are looking for from followers is, “Got it!” or “That makes perfect sense.” “HUA!” Heard, Understood and Acknowledged! Not, “What?!” or “Where did that come from?!” Actions should provide a sense of confidence, not spark unhelpful questions or challenge.
It still comes down to people … power or peril. Power is in consistency across functions or up and down the hierarchical chain. How many times have you heard, “But, mom said!” Or “What is Sales thinking?!” There is significant competitive advantage in consistency between the many departments of an organization, guided by a unifying vision and/or fundamental set of values.
Inconsistency ignites unnecessary energy spend, raising questions rather than providing answers and confirming direction. Layered consistency of goals and actions across people and processes significantly improves the chances of individual and team success. Do stakeholders see you and your associated connections as consistent in thought, word and action? Or are they left wondering? Improve your ROI and actively layer consistency into your daily activities.
Enjoy the journey!