Why do you brush your teeth everyday? It takes about two minutes and it’s a seemingly mundane task so why do you do it? I mean come on, we go to a professional dentist twice a year. They poke, and prod and clean our teeth beyond all recognition. Clearly these professionals can take care of our dental needs better than we can, so again I ask you why bother to brush your teeth everyday?
The answer to this is clear. If you don’t brush your teeth consistently for a few minutes every day they will probably rot and fall out.
Let me ask you another question- If you went to the gym to exercise twice a year for an entire day, would that be enough to keep you in great physical condition? But If you were to exercise for 30 minutes 3-5 times per week for a year would that have an impact on your physical condition. Of course it would. The reason is simple- consistency. Doing something most everyday, even if it isn’t all that much, over the long term can really have a big impact.
Now let’s talk about Leadership. What makes a great leader? How do you know it? Can you identify the one moment when it becomes clear that someone is or is not a great leader? Probably not- because being a great leader isn’t about what happens once or twice a year. It’s about what happens on a day-to-day basis with consistency. If these actions are practiced over a long period of time over and over again then it’s easier to get a sense of whether or not one is a good leader.
The mistake many organizations often make when they look to hire a company to help with leadership development is the assumption that a someone can come to their organization, conduct an amazing training session on communication, conflict, strategy, goal setting or any other topic deemed necessary to become a leader. And then after a full day of working on the skills needed to do these things, that they can now say they have a newly minted effective leader. I think we all can agree that just simply isn’t the case.
The trainings and seminars can create the sparks and ignite the flames of leadership, but it’s the day to day practice of these skills that maintains the fire and keeps if from burning out.
What are those daily mundane tasks that really effective leaders tend to engage?
I’m sure you can think of a few, and if not here’s some Quarter Turns for you to consider.
- Asking people how they are doing or what their opinions are- and then actually being present enough to listen and truly being interested in the answers.
- Role model the behaviors that they would ask of their teams like- show up on time for meetings and events, putting smart phones away during conversations, and showing respect to everyone.
- Always speak highly of the organization and those that work for it.
- Use mistakes as learning opportunities instead of the blame game.
- Avoid firing off emails at all hours of the night, weekends and holidays.
- Make it ok for others to speak up even when they have a different opinion of how to move forward.
- Make decisions in a timely manner and get input from their teams.
- Over-Communicate goals and expectations.
- Trust their teams to make decisions and utilize their own skills and talents.
- Hold themselves accountable to the same standards they hold others to.
- Measure and reward performance.
- Provide continuous feedback both positive and constructive.
- Bring the right energy and right attitude to the workplace everyday.
- Coach and mentor their teams.
- Have the time or make the time for others.
I think you would agree that none of these actions if done only once or twice a year would make you believe that you or anyone else in your organization is a great leader. But if practiced on a daily and weekly basis, consistently over time, the result will be appreciated and noticed.
Ask yourself this:
What are the daily mundane tasks that you perform regularly that could help place you in the exceptional leader category?
What are you going to start doing differently to create consistency with you own leadership?
Where are you expecting yearly events to make a difference in your organization? How is that working for you?
Little things make a difference- what little things or Quarter Turns are you practicing that make the difference for you and your organization?
Thoughts for the week:
What you do ever day matters more than what you do every once in a while. – unknown
If you are persistent you will get it. If you are consistent you will keep it. – unknown
Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come. -Dwyane Johnson
Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals. -Jim Rohn
Do what you can and soon you will be able to do what you can’t. -Hunter Post
Long term consistency beats short term intensity. – Bruce Lee
Looking forward to our next connection