Leadership Tip of the Week: The Case for Consistency

The leader couldn’t be trusted. His trustworthiness was gone and I could see it in the eyes of his team.  A team with no trust will never perform at their best. I had to figure out why his team didn’t trust him.

After a few candid conversations, I came to the conclusion that this leader wasn’t consistent. He didn’t apply the rules in the same way in a dependable manner. His erratic behavior had caused his team to lose faith in him as a leader. This could be fixed though. I started providing steady feedback and encouraging him to be more consistent. He took the advice and quickly started earning the trust of his team.

Leaders need to be consistent, especially in rewards and accountability. You can’t reward some more than others — or for some events but not all. You also can’t punish one person and let somebody else off for the same offense.

There is a balance, though. Leaders need to personalize rewards and punishment to get the maximum effect. Consistency has to be established in regard to the event, but the reward or punishment can be tailored to the individual. This consistency builds trust and also makes the rewards more meaningful to each person.

Unpredictability puts everyone on edge, and it is very hard to perform well when you are consistently questioning what leaders will do.


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