Lead, Follow or Get Out of the Way: Consistency is Vital to Leadership
Lead, follow or get out of the way. You have likely heard this expression at some point in your life. While I did not create it, I do indeed love it. First, let me point out that good followership is valuable when done the right way. After all, there can be no leadership without strong followership. In addition, “getting out of the way” of progress is not necessarily a bad thing. But for the purpose of this post, I am going to focus on the importance of consistency in leadership. I obtained a master’s degree in organizational leadership and completed doctoral work in the subject as well, so, needless to say, the topic is near and dear to my heart.
The topic of leadership seemingly is brought up everywhere and every day. If you have not heard the word “leadership” in recent presidential debates, you must have found a good place to hide (and I will come join you). In addition, during my travels to speak and consult across the country, the subject of leadership is discussed a great deal. Why? Leadership is the way in which we grow, modify, develop and/or change our strategies. It determines our “now and our future.” One common characteristic I see in many strong leaders is consistent behavior.
A leader’s actions (e.g., what you say, what you do, where you spend your time, what you deem important, decisions you make, etc.) are observed by others, and therefore demand consistency. This way the people around you will not be confused, surprised or caught off guard by what you say or do. And, remember, it is not the person’s title that makes a leader. Anyone within an organization can be a consistent leader.
Consistency of leadership, whether as a CEO or salesperson, is applicable to all. Try to think of consistency as being the steady and methodical pace of an experienced marathon runner, and inconsistency as the erratic (speed up/slow down) pace of an inexperienced short distance runner.
Here are five consistent leadership themes to consider:
1. Consistent leaders are honest. The complete truth (i.e., transparency) is the way they operate, and you know where you stand with such leaders.
2. Consistent leaders are loyal to their employers and/or employees. These individuals focus on the big picture, and do not react in an emotional manner to one event. They look at the entire situation and avoid “knee-jerk” reactions.
3. Consistent leaders are well-rounded in their lives. They know who they are and what truly matters. They strive to do what is right (whether people are watching or not), and they remember that life is short.
4. Consistent leaders set growth-oriented goals and track their progress to ensure they are moving forward in all areas (mental, physical, social and spiritual) of life. It is the consistent journey—not the end destination—that matters to such leaders.
5. Consistent leaders are committed to operating with integrity. They do not change their behavior or moral compass to match their current situation. Instead, their consistent behavior defines the situation.
Consistency is a key component of leadership. Strong leadership is what makes average companies good—and good organizations great. So, you want to lead? Be consistent in your leadership, and it will make a difference. And if you choose not to be a leader, you can always follow or get out of the way. If you would like a free tip that you can implement right now in regard to leadership, send me an email and I will share it with you.
Have a great week!
Let’s connect @RyanSauers
Ryan T. Sauers has spent 25 years leading and/or consulting with printing, graphics, promotional and visual communications related organizations. Ryan is President of the independent consulting firm, Sauers Consulting Strategies, founded in 2010.
Key areas of focus of the firm include: sales training, marketing strategy, personal branding, leadership development and organizational change.
Sauers is a frequent national speaker and columnist. He has been recognized as one of the top 80 CMOs in the world and achieved the top designation of Certified Marketing Executive through Sales and Marketing Executives International.
Sauers is an adjunct university professor teaching leadership and communication courses to current and aspiring leaders. He is a Certified Myers Briggs, DiSC and Emotional Intelligence Practitioner (one of few in US to achieve all 3 rigorous certifications related to human communications, personality & behavior).
Sauers is working on his Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership and hosts a radio show in Atlanta (Marketing Matters). He is author of the best-selling books Everyone is in Sales and Would You Buy from You? More info at: RyanSauers.com