Consistent Leaders are more Flexible

After posting about consistency being the greatest leadership attribute, Tyler asked the following question, "Where does consistency fit with adaptability as a leadership attribute? Particularly during this time of change, leaders need to be flexible to meet a very dynamic environment. What does that look like to integrate consistency with other competencies?" What a great question!

On the first look, consistency and adaptability are opposites. If I am adaptable, I am not consistent. If I am consistent, I am not adaptable. The truth is that consistency is the base of adaptability.

A healthy palm tree bends and flexes in a storm but does not lose ground. How? Through balanced consistent growth. Its roots have the depth and breadth to anchor the tree; whereas, the trunk and leaves have flex and give to allow the tree to bend and move so as not to break in the storm.

A healthy leader bends and flexes in a storm but does not lose ground. How? Through balanced consistent growth. The leader's roots are integrity, character, and courage. The leader's trunk and branches are capability and competency. The question is, how do you grow all of these attributes? You can study them, you can learn about them, you can commit to them, but how do you become a leader where these attributes are woven into the trunk of who you are? The answer - Streaking.

To grow your leader tree you need to consistently do laughably small activities that promote growth and record that you have done them, this is Streaking. Becoming a leader who can hold ground and be flexible is not a goal nor is it a habit, it is a conscious choice of who you want to be. You need to look at yourself in the midst of a future storm and ask, "who do I want to be in the middle of that storm?"

The answer to that question is your be statement, for example you may choose to be this type of leader:

"I want to be a leader who tells the truth when it's hard, gives credit to the unseen, and celebrates others success. I want to be a leader who thirsts for learning, craves questions, and stops to observe."

To grow toward being that leader you need to consistently do activities that will promote that growth, or employ a stack of streaks such as the following:

Streak 1: Ask for feedback from at least one person weekly

Streak 2: Write at least one thank you note weekly

Streak 3: Practice at least one hard conversation weekly

Streak 4: Review or create at least one character development card daily

Streak 5: Give sincere gratitude to at least one person daily

Streaking these activities, or others that you may choose, will plant you firmly in solid ground so that when the storms rage you can flex and adapt to help people succeed. Which leads us back to Tyler's thought provoking question, where does consistency fit with adaptability? You are consistent in good leadership attributes so that you can be flexible and adaptable when markets are unstable, organizations are in upheaval, or economies are uncertain.

You have consistently done what you needed to do to become the leader you want to be so that when the winds rage, the water floods, and the lightening strikes, you have grown deep roots and a flexible trunk and will not only survive the storm but thrive.

Keep Streakin',

Jeff & Jami

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