Why Leadership Should Not Be Like A Box of Chocolates

My husband and I were blessed to take a vacation out west a few months ago. We absolutely love spending time in Arizona. We love renting a 4-wheel drive Jeep and going off road to explore the mountains and the desert. It is simply amazing how the landscape changes from the tall ponderosa pine trees scaling the mountain sides in Flagstaff to the ominous mountains of brown rock covered in cactus in Phoenix, to the more flat terrain covered with blowing tumbleweed in Tucson.

This year we decided to spend a couple days in Sedona. Our condo had a perfect view of one of Sedona’s signature red-rock mountains. When I walked out that afternoon onto our balcony, I was captured by one of the most breathtaking displays of God’s creation I had ever seen.

As I sat there trying to take in all the beauty of the red rock mountains, I realized that no matter the people or businesses that might come and go in that city … no matter the weather patterns that might come and go in that city — those magnificent red rock mountains would still be there. No matter what might be going on in the lives of the people who called Sedona their home, the one thing they could always count on to be a consistent part of their landscape would be the red rock mountains. Life might bring about change, but the mountains would remain consistent. And with that consistency, comes a sense of assurance and security.

Even in the midst of daily challenge and change, which is becoming the new norm in business, a strong leader can evoke assurance and security when they lead with … consistency. In other words, they are consistent in the way they approach work. They are consistent in the way they interact with others. They are consistent in the way they handle challenges.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not talking about a leader who is rigid, hard-nosed, or unwilling to adapt. I’m talking about a leader who cares as much about the “how” as they do the “what” … or the “why” … or the “who.”

Consistency, as boring as it sounds, is far more valuable, impactful, and influential than rare moments of greatness. Consistency is a fundamental leadership principle and (over time) will:

  • motivate those around you
  • demonstrate your commitment and dedication to others
  • show respect and acceptance for others
  • improve emotional efficiency within the team
  • develop a professional reputation that is respected within your network
  • influence your team culture and foster an environment of accountability
  • model the behavior you want to inspire in those around you
  • create opportunities to advance your career

My plan in writing this blog was to highlight a few leadership skills, when implemented consistently, would increase the leader’s effectiveness. What I found, however, was that it really isn’t as much about a “skill” as it is about being consistent.

If your leadership style is like a box of chocolates (you never know what is inside), your team will never know what to expect. But just like the red rock mountains of Sedona, consistency by itself, is powerful. Consistency is a great teacher.

Building Your Leadership Strength

  • When you think about leading with consistency, what specific skills or behaviors do you model successfully?
  • Is there a particular skill you need to improve?
  • Is there a specific behavior you need to change?
  • What can you do today to become a more consistent leader?
  • If you successfully make these changes, what is the payoff for you?
  • What is the payoff for your team?

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