120822_consistency-is-key_500_youanew1No one on Main Street has ever uttered, “I voted for the candidate who supported one initiative, flip-flopped, and backed the opposition. I think he’s got great potential. He clearly wants to please everyone.”

It’s laughable really. Simply suggest a candidate ‘flip-flopped’ and you may as well unload a deluge of four-letter expletives – which still would not supersede the reviled ‘flip flopper’ title. Political ambitions have been wounded, and even ruined, on account of ‘flip flopping,’ and politicians understand (at least in theory) that consistency is the key to winning and staying in office.

Consistency is an imperative trait in any leader, and brand stewards are no exception. Consistency builds trust.

Consistency is an imperative trait in any leader, and brand stewards are no exception. Why? Because consistency builds trust. Inconsistent leaders are a nightmare. You never know where they stand or how they will react to an issue, problem or even a potentially great idea.

Unreliable leaders foster suspicion and create work environments that stifle creativity and breed fear and angst amongst employees. I’ve worked for a scary boss or two. What’s the opposite of feeling inspired and productive at work? Oh, right, miserable.

Unreliable leaders foster suspicion and create work environments that stifle creativity and breed fear and angst amongst employees.

It isn’t easy keeping even-keeled, all of the time – we all have rotten days. Despite this, a great leader must rise above the daily imperfections that generate anxiety, self-doubt and moodiness and operate on a higher plane that hovers atop the noise. Consistency requires a relentless focus on one’s leadership approach, and that can be exhausting. But I promise, if you put in the work, the rewards are well worth the effort.

Consistency requires relentless focus and it can be exhausting, but if you put in the work, the rewards are well worth the effort.

According to serial entrepreneur, Eric Holtzclaw, “Even the best business plans will fail without a dedication to consistency.” Furthermore, Holtzclaw points out that consistency allows for measurement, reasoning that, “until you try something new for a period of time and in a consistent manner, you can’t decide if it works or not.” Holtzclaw also highlights that consistency creates accountability, establishes reputation, and helps leaders maintain their messages.

What Happens When You Lose Your Way

sony-walkmanWhat has happened to the Sony Corporation? Once recognized as the name in consumer electronics, Sony brought such innovations as colour TVs, Walkman and game consuls to the masses. Today, Sony has lost its way. The company stopped leading and began following, forgetting it was their drive for innovation that had once propelled them to the top. With unremarkable products and muddled brand messaging, major ratings agencies Fitch and Moody’s have downgraded Sony to junk status, and Standard & Poor’s has warned it could do the same. That’s got to hurt. Sony lost the drive to continuously amaze and instead allowed mediocre products to head to market.

As soon as you lose sight of what you stand for, you are in deep waters.

Sony must recommit to consistently delivering the extraordinary in order to have a fighting chance at reclaiming its once coveted status as the authority in consumer electronics. We’ll be watching Sony closely to see if this giant can wake up and crawl back to life.

Consistency’s Poster Child

focusThe Ford Motor Company has remained a symbol of consistency amidst a shaky U.S. domestic car market, with the New York Times deeming Ford, “the industry’s model of consistency.” And, according to Entrepreneur Magazine, “Ford’s consistent branding has established the company as a beacon of reliability.” Consistent messaging builds character, which is probably why customers attributed Ford’s refusal to take government bailout money as evidence of the company’s integrity. Ford’s more recent commitment to efficiency and innovation certainly helped see it through dark times, but it didn’t hurt that Ford’s fans trusted the brand, and therefore stuck by its side through leaner years.

Consistent messaging builds character.

Today, Ford has consistently (there’s that word again) outperformed the largest U.S. car manufacturer, G.M., reporting greater earnings and a better return on investment year-over-year since the 2008 recession.

Challenge Yourself

Being consistent doesn’t mean being boring. Alternatively, I challenge you to take calculated risks and make brave decisions. Commit to consistent boldness. Anyone can be daring once, but great leaders are unswervingly courageous. Some ideas might not pan out, and we certainly encourage leaders to admit when they are wrong. However, consistent bold leadership also means not necessarily admitting failure right away when things get a little uncomfortable. Stick it out. Your gutsy initiatives just might bear fruit. Believe in yourself. Consistently.

Your gutsy initiatives just might bear fruit. Believe in yourself. Consistently.

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