On the Course and In the Office: Consistency is Key

I frequently play golf with my executive assistant, Diane Brown. We make a great team at the office, and our opposing talents complement each other on the golf course, too.  She plays consistently, and I play risky. She hits it down the middle while I take short cuts through the trees. I think my strategy is more exciting, but after 18 holes her score is more exciting!

The other morning I was giving her some “trash talk” about how I was going to beat her in our upcoming game. I kept on and on, thinking I was getting inside her head.  Finally, after hearing all she wanted to hear, she calmly said, “You can’t intimidate consistency.”

BAM! That stopped me in my trash talking tracks. She was right! You can’t intimidate consistency. I couldn’t wait to blog about her powerful statement.

With Consistency Comes Confidence

Consistent performance – whether it’s golf, sales calls, making tough decisions, showing up on time, leading your team or serving your family – will bring confidence not only to you, but to those around you. Even your own competition will become more confident in your services than their own if you continue to prove your consistent performance.

A leader’s consistency or inconsistency has a major effect on the people around them. Here are four areas where I believe we can lead more consistently:

1. Decision Making – Being consistent with our decisions brings confidence to our team.  If you make consistent decisions, over time your team will start to know what decision you will make instead of wondering what decision you will make. This builds a more confident team. Inconsistent decision making causes havoc and confusion, and the last thing we want to do as leaders is create havoc.

2. Emotions – Does your team ever wonder what kind of mood you’re going to be in or how you’re going to respond to uncertain news? Having inconsistent moods or emotions causes your team to waste time trying to figure out what your emotions are going to be for the day or how you’ll react to bad news.  A leader should bring confidence to the team in every situation. We should reflect on how we react to good and bad news, so that when the news is delivered, we will know how we want to respond.

3. Conflict – Do you dodge conflict, or address it? Dealing with conflict consistently allows your team to move quickly because there’s less game playing and politicking going on.

4. Time  – Think about how you spend your time. What takes priority? Who gets your time? When was the last time you sat down and looked at how you use your time and how you want to prioritize it?

Diane certainly exudes confidence because of her consistent play on the course. I played golf with her again on Saturday, and she won. Again. I almost convinced her to try hitting the ball through the trees a couple of times, but she resisted. Not only can you not intimidate consistency, but you can’t tempt it, either! I’m going to have to align my golfing strategy with my leadership philosophy!

What about you?

I’m curious to know how other leaders and teammates need to grow in this area.

Leaders, if there was one thing you wish you were more consistent at, what would it be?

Teammates, what is one area where you wish your leader was more consistent?

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  • […] of this disheartening reality is that we can learn to be consistent. A few years ago I blogged on four key areas where leaders should strive to be consistent. Check back on Monday when I’ll discuss further how we can do a better job at leading with […]

  • Diane Brown says:

    Consistency is not an accident, it is my plan and I have to think about staying under control. Going through the trees sometimes works but there are lots of things to get in the way and if it is not a perfect shot, the next shot is jeopardized a lot of the time. I have finally learned that consistency pays off on the course because there are more predicable results. As you have pointed out the same holds true for the office. Fun post, you can make a leadership lesson about anything!!!

  • Laurie says:

    I struggle with holding people accountable, we set goals and when they are not met, we ask them what they need to do to meet their goals next week! We typically get the same excuses each week from great employees; we have outstanding training available and managers on staff to guide. Your advice Linda is always welcomed!

    • Linda Sasser says:

      I would suggest holding your managers more accountable so they have a sense of urgency to hold their reports accountable. Work through closet to the dollar exercise to remind them of the activities you find most valuable. For now reward individuals when they hit their goal then you can tapper back on that later and reward when it’s consistent month over month.

      Interesting human instinct – inconsistent behavior will continue when the leader consistently allows it to happen. Just like our kids. I can “get on to” my daughter and ask why she isn’t keeping her room cleaned up but until I create an uncomfortable consequence (taking away privileges) she won’t feel my seriousness.

      Are your activity goals important to the companies growth and sustainability? If so, then your team needs to feel how important it is through rewards, recognition or consequences.

      Thanks Laurie for your comment and know that you ARE NOT ALONE. Holding others accountability is not industry specific and is a challenge for leaders at every level.

  • Rachel says:

    My boss and I get along so well, I never thought about it but consistency is part of the reason.

  • Brady says:

    I only wish my leader would be predictable sometimes–consistent would be a God-send.

  • Linda Sasser says:

    A rubber band is useless unless it’s stretched. So interesting to see how God does stretch us!