The key to becoming a successful leader is consistency. But consistency doesn’t always mean that every day looks exactly the same. Consistency doesn’t even mean that you have a uniform set of strengths on which people can rely. Consistency in leadership means that your stakeholders (customers, employees, stockholders, environment) can expect you to act in the same way in almost every situation.
Having and expecting consistency helps you be a strong leader because it allows you to hire for your weaknesses, build on your strengths, and focus on the long-term.
Here are some examples of consistent leaders and what their consistency looked like:
- Herb Kelleher – Southwest Airlines – I’ve read that Herb repeated the same message over and over to employees: Employees and customers were most important.
- Steve Jobs – User experience is most important. If you can give the user something that they love, then you will win.
- Bill Gates – A computer on every desktop. This vision drove every business decision.
Be consistent as a leader. In the same way that people can plan for on the predictable tides, but not the specific weather for the day, a consistent leader helps everyone know what is going to come next.