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Consistency is a choice
March 16, 2015 | By Neil Ducoff | 2 Comments
Just how good do you want to be? What level of the game do you want to play? How important is that vision of yours? How passionate are you about the work you do? How committed are you to achieving excellence? If you were an aspiring athlete with your sights set on winning Olympic gold, your coach would tell you in extreme detail what that road map to winning would look like. The coach would explain the relentless hours of training and the pain of pushing through your perceived physical limits. The coach would simply detail the process of achieving consistency in execution at a world-class level. Then, it would be your choice to choose the path to consistency.
Consistency is about repeatability and the achievement of incremental performance gains. In the beginning, the gains can be significant and impressive. However, at the higher levels of consistency, the gains are hard earned through continuous refinement and practice. And it is when the going gets tough that your answers to the five opening questions are put to the test. Winning your version of Olympic gold may be the ultimate prize … but achieving your personal best level of consistency is what matters most. It is also what separates those that are committed more by words, from those that are committed by deeds and hard work.
Here are some No-Compromise Leadership thoughts on choosing the path to consistency:
- It’s a timeless process: I cringe when I hear the comments about the “millennials” and how they are the entitlement generation. I agree that each generation (I’m a baby boomer) has its unique traits, but being the best at what you pursue in life is a constant and timeless process of commitment, hard work, sacrifice and perseverance. Simply put, millennials seeking Olympic gold have to choose and commit to achieving consistency, just as every Olympian before them. The same goes for building a world-class company or team. Choosing the path of consistency is the defining choice. Anything less is choosing inconsistency.
- It’s where you set the bar: You can be mentored, coached, pushed and prodded … but only you have the ability to set your consistency bar. It’s your choice to set it at wimpy, almost breaking a sweat, or at no-compromise consistency. At wimpy, the choice is inconsistency and doing enough to get by. Why even bother? At almost breaking a sweat, the choice is that average is good enough and dreams remain dreams. At no-compromise consistency, the choice is clear and the path is clear. You show up to work and play hard. You hone your skills and practice until you get it right. You push for wins. You inspire those around you to be their best. You earn every gain, every win and every success.
- It’s a discipline: At Strategies we teach and coach business owners and leaders in the disciplines of growing dynamic, profitable, team-based companies. All that means is that we teach and coach the disciplines of consistency. The discipline process of creating consistency begins with the leader and flows throughout the company. The Four Business Outcomes that we teach are discipline and consistency based. The Productivity Outcome is about systems discipline and consistent execution. The Profitability Outcome is about the disciplines and consistency of cash-flow and financial management. The Staff Retention Outcome is about the disciplines and consistency of information flow, culture building, individual and team development, and establishing trust. The Customer Loyalty Outcome is about the disciplines and consistency of executing world-class work, embracing protocols, anticipating needs, teamwork, and delivering on your company’s promise to its customers. Individual and company consistency cannot exist without discipline.
- It’s never always perfect: I always say, “If you execute something perfectly … take a picture so you’ll remember what that perfect moment looked like.” In life and business, achieving perfection is a worthy, yet preciously rare, occurrence. As I stated earlier, consistency is about repeatability and the achievement of incremental performance gains. But, in the quest for consistency, there will be setbacks, detours and breakdowns. Sometimes you or your team may be off your game. Sometimes reality throws you a curve. That’s why high levels of consistency can fluctuate at times. The only way to maintain high levels of consistency is to continuously refine your skills, techniques, systems and processes. It also means being capable of responding and adapting to changing conditions.
- It’s worth it: Consistency in individual and business performance is the foundation that success is built on. The higher your level of consistency, the more you and your company stand out from the crowd and the more control you have over your success. If you have personal goals … choose consistency. If you have a company vision, or a BHAG (big hairy audacious goal), choose consistency. Anything less is a commitment to accepting and tolerating inconsistency. If you’re a No-Compromise Leader, consistency is a non-negotiable.
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