Have consistent standards

Being consistent is a personal value, yet it’s the one I wrestle with almost every day.

I consistently show up for physical training, yet there are days when I don’t have it in me to work hard. I procrastinate, make excuses, and sabotage an excellent opportunity to train my body and mind.

At the work front, I strive to consistently under-promise and over-deliver. But there are days when I get caught up only to somehow move mountains right at the very last second!

I have put in a lot of time and energy to live up to the value of consistency, but I’ve concluded that one is never going to get it just right. It’s going to be a life-long struggle, and the only way to get better at it is to keep trying—one day at a time.

All that said, if you’re leading people and organizations, having inconsistent standards is a no-go. Why? It’s a horrendous experience for everyone at the workplace. Not only would it irritate the heck out of everyone, but it’s also bad for the culture.

They say, “loose lips sink ships.” I think open standards will sink the boat faster. Do you know why? Because the boat’s build quality wasn’t up to the mark in the first place. That’s why you can’t afford to have open standards, even if you’re personally struggling with it. You will have to walk the talk despite the likelihood of failing.

Here’s how it will help:

  1. People are watching every step that you take.
  2. They know you’re genuinely trying.
  3. And they wouldn’t ever want their leader to walk alone so that they will follow suit.

And that’s how you make change happen.

Setting standards at the workplace might be a personal extension of your own, but the onus is onto you to ensure that you are consistent. You can’t run an organization on your whims and fancies, as I mentioned previously. People are counting on you, your reactions and your response to situations.

So, if someone turns in a shoddy report on a Friday afternoon, you can’t accept it gracefully just because you’re in a good mood because someone else might turn in their shoddy piece the following Monday morning, only to see you flip out. That’s inconsistency at play.

A shoddy report is a shoddy report. Period.

If the meeting starts at 9:35 am, it begins at 9:35 am. No exceptions.

If the performance bonuses are based on a thoroughly analyzed and thought through formula, you have to stick with them instead of doing extra for your favourite team member.

If you would like people to follow a particular process, they have to follow it to the tee. No exceptions.

You have to make it fair to everyone. Keep it consistent. No excuses. No exceptions. And yes, you might fail to be consistent, but the whole idea is to keep trying unless it’s what is expected of you.

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