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Are you a consistent leader?

Apr

19

2010

Are you a consistent leader?

Is your leadership consistent, regardless of the setting you are in, the people you’re with or the circumstances you’re facing? Consistency in leadership may sound like a recipe for boring sameness or rigid thinking. On the contrary, being a consistent leader means:

  • What is important today is also important tomorrow
  • You don’t chase the latest fad, project or trend
  • Your bad mood doesn’t cause you to act radically different
  • People know what to expect from you

Being consistent in your leadership means that even under duress, you make the right choices. You steer the ship, make mid-course corrections and align your “crew” around important best practices that will help you reach your destination.

Even the most reliable and unswerving of leaders must be able to adjust to change. Yet, the consistent leader will be grounded, so that unfamiliar and challenging conditions won’t change the quality of interactions, thinking and decision-making.

How do you stay on course and make consistently positive leadership choices? Start by answering these four questions.

1. What is success? Success is defined first by the impact you want to make – and secondarily by the results you need to achieve to have that impact. Think about who and what will be changed by your efforts. That’s your impact.

2. What is sacred? What are your non-negotiables? Make a list of the things you will not compromise, no matter what. For example, you might list ethical standards that are vital and unchanging.

3. What is important? List a few guiding principles for your life and your leadership. Examples might include:

  • Act with integrity
  • Be a good steward of resources
  • Be humble
  • Have fun

4. What works? Know – and grow – best practices that lead to success, help you hold fast to what is sacred and allow you to focus on what is important. Identify the thinking and actions that are requirements for questions 1, 2 and 3.

Consistent, dependable leadership choices provide a solid foundation for your people – enabling them to weather storms and operate at their peak. You shouldn’t be completely predictable. You don’t have to be perfect, and you’re allowed to have bad days. What you cannot do is permit outside conditions to change you fundamentally – causing you to shift whichever way the wind blows. Be the anchor that your organizational ship requires.

Have a question or want some input from Humanergy about this topic? Contact us and we’ll get right back to you!

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Comments (1)

  1. Good advice. Clearly, there should be scope for ” surprises “, that is challenges that ” stretch ” the organisation, expanding horizons,from time to time. An element of unpredictability can be a positive for any organisation. However, from a “people ” point of view, there should only be pleasant surprises when there is something that happens unexpectedly. Reflecting that we are all only human, there can be ” unpleasant ” reactions which need to be remedied quickly and shown to be aberrations in behaviour. Hopefully, openness and honesty are key features of the way that the organisation works. Therefore the mutual trust that is built up should be able to withstand any occasional ” aberrant ” behaviour. There are clearly differences in personal capacities and in the way that people work. Nevertheless, involvement in decision-making goes a long way in creating confidence and trust and ultimate buy-in. Leaders have to make decisions and be seen to do so, even when there is not full agreement by the participants. The environment created should ensure that all will be totally focussed on making those decisions successful. That said, leaders should also be prepared to admit that they do not get things right all the time and be prepared to change as necessary.

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