It was Charles Swindoll who said, “The trouble with life is that it’s so daily.” Isn’t that the truth! We brush our teeth every day (hopefully), we eat every day, we sleep every day and, for many of us, there are things we want to do (or actually do) daily, that move us closer to our concept of a fulfilling life beyond the simple routine things.
The challenge is to (day after day) do things that we know we should do, but that are challenging to do consistently—like exercising, spending quality time with the Lord, investing in our spouse and children and reading.
After 81 years of life, I’ve come to the conclusion that most of us (me very much included) struggle with consistency. There’s something inside of us that wants to do the things we know are helpful and beneficial–not only for ourselves but for those we love; at the same time, there’s something inside of us that fights this desire for consistency. It’s a continual battle, but one which can be won. Paul talks about this fight in Romans 7. I truly believe that consistency is often the difference between those who succeed and those who don’t. Consistency in the little things that over time add up to big results. What one person I heard described as the cumulative effect of small things over an extended period of time.
John Maxwell said,
“Successful people do daily what unsuccessful people do occasionally.”
I would agree.
As a leader developer, I believe that leaders must lead themselves well, before they can lead others well. The secret to the kind of life which brings honor to Jesus is determined by what we do daily—day after day after day!
Here are a few benefits of, by his grace, being consistent with the things that truly matter.
- Consistency establishes your reputation for being reliable, dependable
People we work with and for want to know that they can count on us. They want to know that we will mean what we say and say what we mean; that we will keep our promises and priorities and be someone they can count on. Having a reputation for this is invaluable
- Consistency is a prerequisite for success
I can’t think of anyone I’ve known or read about who was successful who was not disciplined and faithful in being consistent. Any athlete or musician who is good at their craft is very consistent with habits and routines which help them achieve their goals. The only place that success comes before work is in the dictionary. Otherwise, building the habit of consistent hard work is what leads to success
- Consistency provides a model for others to follow
We all know that people do what we do, not what we say. Perhaps your mother said what mine said, “Do as I say, not as I do.” Everyone knows that never worked. More is caught than taught. About some people we might say that who they are speaks so loudly that we cannot hear what they say. I’m not telling you that we have to be a perfect model, but indeed we should be an honest one and own it when we fall short.
- Consistency reinforces your purpose, values and vision
When we consistently live out what we teach and coach others to be and do, it puts teeth in our purpose, values and vision. When followers see a leader consistently practice the organization’s purpose, vision and values, it’s a lot easier for them to get onboard, instead of rolling their eyes at the latest greatest idea that they suspect their leaders don’t really believe, but heard at the last seminar or read in the latest best-selling leadership book.
How about selecting one practice/habit you know in your heart of hearts will take your leadership to the next level if done consistently? Develop a plan on what you specifically Intend to do, when you will start and to whom you can make yourself accountable.