“It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives. It’s what we do consistently” – Tony Robbins
We all know that true success does not occur overnight. Behind it sits volumes of effort, belief and action demonstrated consistently over time. Invariably it has meant navigating a sometimes bumpy road that may have seen us fall a couple of times and demanded we get back up, dust ourselves off and go again. Underpinning much of our success though is the sum of the small daily, weekly, monthly decisions and actions we have adopted.
Whether it has been a commitment to up-skill to maintain relevance; time taken to create and foster purposeful professional networks; or the building of habits that push us out of our comfort zone and extend our learning; the consistency of our actions (or lack there of) has played a major role in where we find ourselves today.
In a time where our ability to navigate change and demonstrate true career resiliency, never have these ‘little things’ counted for so much. These small actions over time compound positively or negatively much like they do in a bank account. Lots of small proactive decisions add up in a positive way like regular savings into a bank account; where as complacency and bad decisions are like small debits eating away at your value over time.
In talking with business leaders I often hear that it is not the big things that keep them awake at night but the little things. Why? Because they know that over time these little ‘things’ have the power to become the big things by eroding efficiencies, outcomes and relationships. It is exactly the same with our careers – if we aren’t careful, failure to action the ‘little’ things will prevent us from reaching our potential and desired levels of success.
Nothing is more frustrating than inconsistency. No doubt many of us are able to recall colleagues and team members who have severely limited their opportunities due to an inability to consistently perform or behave. Where one week they seem to be producing record results and the next they are eroding any progress, momentum or value originally created. Or where they are technically brilliant at what they do but cause so much disruption amongst their team that the overall results are compromised because no one wants to work with them or you going forward.
Whilst the idea of consistency is fairly simple the ability to execute it is often not. More often than not it is due to one of the following three things:
- Impatience – We want the results NOW! (Think of all those diet and exercise regimes that we have all invariably embarked upon!)
- Belief – If we don’t believe in what we are doing the only thing that we are most likely to be consistent in is avoidance.
- Value – Failure to see the benefits of the amount of effort invested.
Consistency is definitely achievable for us all but it does take practice, focus and discipline. Understanding what it is that you do and why is critical but so to is understanding how consistency creates high value and longevity in your career. I would encourage you to take a moment to consider the following career benefits:
- Consistency establishes belief: The thoughts and actions that we take on a daily and/or regular basis do shape our own self-belief and the belief that others have in us. Not only is it a powerful force for motivating and building trust in others but it also serves as a powerful model for the standards we rise and fall to.
- Consistency creates relevance: Your customers, clients, organisations and team members are all looking to you as a reliable and informed source of information and service. To remain informed we need to be relevant. What are the latest developments in your industries, your areas of expertise or your regions? Is your level of knowledge and it’s applicability empowering or depowering you and what you do?
- Consistency allows for measurement: To build meaningful and successful steps of progression we need to understand what it is that is actually working – or not working. What are the results of your consistent efforts, actions and strategies – good or bad? Our ability to measure, assess and realign are crucial skills in our ever-changing world.
- Consistency creates accountability: Accountability is a critical requirement in high performance and values aligned cultures. Being consistently accountable – in the good and the bad times – is what will set you apart as the consummate professional.
- Consistency builds stability: Not only does it build stability but it also builds sustainability. When people know what you stand for and where they stand with you, it provides the framework for them to perform at their optimal level.
- Consistency establishes your reputation: Your track record is your reputation. Building that track record on one that is defined by consistent performance, respectful behaviours and high value relationships is fundamental to both your current and future success.
As always I would love to hear your thoughts below.