Leadership – How consistent are you as a leader? Why does it matter?
At a recent event I attended, one theme that came up was the number of crises and disruptions firms face nowadays. Economic cycles feel shorter, and more intense, and in the ever-evolving world we’re in, effective leadership is pivotal to an organisation's success. One of the fundamental characteristics that distinguish exceptional leaders from the rest, is consistency. Consistency in how a manager deals with colleagues and team members is a cornerstone of a successful managerial approach. Get it wrong and it can cause chaos. Get it right and it can foster trust, increased productivity, and a more positive work environment.
I’m not sure that the expression “people don’t leave jobs, they leave managers” is always true, but a bad manager has never enhanced staff retention. Consistency builds trust, and trust is the bedrock of any productive and healthy work environment. Managers, politicians and teachers who consistently demonstrate fairness, transparency, and reliability in their interactions with others gain their trust and respect. When employees know what to expect from their manager, they are more likely to believe in the leader's decisions and guidance. Consistency provides predictability. When colleagues can anticipate how a manager will respond to various situations, they are better equipped to make informed decisions and collaborate more effectively. It can also empower teams to have confidence in their decision-making.
Consistency in managerial practices also has a significant impact on productivity and overall performance. Firms with processes and procedures scale better than those which are laisse faire. Teams operate in the same way in my experience. When managers set and maintain clear, consistent expectations for their team members, employees understand what is required of them. This clarity minimises confusion and reduces the likelihood of errors or misunderstandings. Also, what gets measured also gets done, and having clear expectations leads to better performance evaluation. Consistent managers evaluate against agreed criteria, whereas inconsistent managers can provide unfair feedback. Unstructured performance evaluations can lead to frustration and uncertainty among employees. Consistency in appraisal processes enables team members to track their progress and make improvements over time.
How does this translate into a more positive work environment? A consistent managerial approach contributes to a positive and harmonious work environment. Inconsistent management practices can lead to confusion, misinterpretation, and internal conflicts. When colleagues experience fairness and consistency in decision-making, the workplace is more collaborative. A consistent manager creates a stable and supportive work environment. High turnover rates, always a sign of an issue, are often associated with inconsistent or arbitrary leadership, as employees may feel undervalued or unsupported.
Leaders also need to be fair about access to opportunities. Obama wanted to create an environment in the US where anyone can “make it”. It’s a good aspiration and consistent and structured managers have access to data, which allows them to make better and fairer decisions on access to opportunities, which maybe limited.
As a manager in a business, developing your consistency will improve how your team performs and perceives you. If you’re a CEO, your managers are your connectors to the wider business and are the difference between being a scalable business and an employer of choice vs, being an also ran.
About Fram Professionals
Fram Professionals is a specialist professional services, growth and VC-backed focused recruitment consultancy based in Bedfordshire. Originally working with clients within the university “golden triangle” region of London, Cambridge, and Oxford, we now work with clients across the UK.
Contact us on [email protected] or call 01525 864 372 for an informal chat about our services.
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