Last weekend I got to go to my favorite city in the southeast, a city that I think is very underrated by most people. I was able to go to college at a small private school in a suburb of Birmingham, Alabama and while I was there I fell in love with the city of Birmingham and its surrounding areas. I have tried to figure out why I love Birmingham so much and one of the main reasons is the attention and priority that the community takes towards local business. Everywhere you turn there is a local restaurant, a small coffee shop, a specialty retail store, or a local bank or business.
One local restaurant that we all love is Davenports Pizza Palace. Davenports is located in the Mountain Book community and has been around for a long time. When my in-laws, John and Trudy were at Samford 25 years ago they ate at Davenports Pizza which is how I heard about it in the first place – and the one thing I have learned from Davenports is that Consistency is Important…
One of the things you grow to love about Davenports or any great restaurant is the ability to stay consistent – they are consistent in their delivery, consistent in their attention to excellence, and consistent in knowing who they are.
I have learned that one trait of a great leader is the ability to be consistent. As a leader, you have to be consistent in the way to deal with issues, in the way you deal with people, consistent in what you expect, and consistent in knowing who you are and being who you are.
How frustrating is it to follow someone who is not consistent in these areas. What if you approached your leader and never knew what to expect by his or her reaction? What if you as a follower never knew what to deliver because sometimes the leader wants excellence and sometimes the leader wants mediocrity? What if you never knew how to respond to your leader because they are one person in the office and another person on the field?
As a leader, you have to consistent in your leadership. Don’t get this confused with not being innovative in your approach – but you as a person and as a leader you owe it to those who follow you to be consistent. Just as I know I can expect the same value, taste, and experience at Davenports Pizza, your followers should be able to expect from you to be the same person, to value the same things, and to expect the same quality time and time again.
What does this mean if you are in college or a young professional right now? Well, any great leader starts as a great follower. Are you a consistent follower? Can your leader expect you to be a person with consistent values? Are you always delivering an excellent product? Do you respond to the requests of your leader consistently? As we learn to lead at a young age, we get to start by learning to follow. I believe the start of being consistent starts when you are following not leading.
What traits do you think need to be consistent in a leader? Have you ever worked with a non-consistent leader? How did that affect you?