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On Consistency

by David Brock on December 28th, 2018

I don’t know why, but we never talk about consistency. Consistency is about what we do every day, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Consistency is a key foundation for learning and improvement. We can’t develop new skills unless we apply them day after day, week after week…..

Somehow consistency seems to be anathema to how we work and behave. We are event driven. We have the new program, we try it out for a few days or weeks, until we are bored (Ironically, we do this even for things that work). Then we move to the next thing, and the next, and the next.

But we never master anything, because we don’t stick with it, we don’t keep doing it consistently, we don’t learn and improve. We don’t create habits.

Our attentions spans are shortening. We are distracted by our devices, we are distracted by the crisis du jour, we are plagued with FOMA.

We focus on that next thing, forgetting how to sustain our performance and grow, over time.

We constantly give up, shifting priorities, chasing the next new thing, never completing what we do and learning from it.

We may put our 10K hours in, but if each hour is different, we have learned and mastered nothing, we’ve just lost 10K hours.

Sustained top performance is about consistency. It’s about understanding what works and doing it every day–no matter how boring or mundane it might seem. It’s about all the little things, every day, all the time.

Consistency isn’t sexy, it isn’t cool. It is remarkably unnoticeable.

Consistency is about courage. It’s about knowing we are doing the right thing and sticking to it, even though we don’t see the immediate results.

But without it, we can’t achieve. Yes, we may have that one thing happen, but without consistency, we can’t repeat it, we can’t sustain it.

Consistency in how we engage our customers is critical. Consistency in how we lead our people is critical, consistency in how we treat our peers and colleagues is critical.

It’s the basis of trust, it’s how they learn they can count on us.

Are you consistent? Is it a habit?

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