Consistency is perhaps the most important quality that we humans look for in all types of personal and business relationships. Consistency nurtures security and trust, and is a quality that determines value in the marketplace. Every responsible business entity and organization strives to be consistent in the areas of reliability and performance, regarding their products and services.
For decades, companies such as IBM, Proctor and Gamble and Disney have been able to charge a premium for their brand of products and services. Individuals and companies who purchase these brands have come to expect a high degree of consistency, resulting in a feeling of loyalty to continue doing business with these companies. At the lower end of the food chain, McDonald's has built its success story by selling inexpensive meals to its clients with the same degree of consistency. You don't expect a gourmet meal when you stop at McDonald's to eat. However, you do expect to be served quickly at their drive-through service and you expect their French Fries to taste the same in Europe as they taste in Florida or California. And they sure do! Consistency counts and McDonald's is jamming in every town around the world.
I learned a great lesson regarding the power of consistency nearly a decade ago. Prior to selling our company, we hired an individual to create a ten minute film, describing the success story of our organization. We wanted to use this film as a sales tool for potential clients. This individual traveled for weeks to all of our locations, to film interviews of our associates at every job level. He asked every individual for the primary reason they thought we achieved such great success in the marketplace. From more than ten hours of brief interviews with hundreds of associates, one word overwhelmingly described their own sentiments for our success. That word was CONSISTENCY. No one knew what anyone else was saying privately to the interviewer. Yet almost everyone believed our success was due to the CONSISTENT SERVICE we provided over a 25 year time span. They believed our customers depended on our consistency for their own success and rewarded us with years of loyalty.
Developing consistency in all you do is one more piece of the puzzle that fits snugly into our Learning Life's Lessons theme. It's fitting to announce that this is the 52nd consecutive Sunday that I have written a Lesson for this website. I sincerely believe in consistency and have developed a Monday morning audience of viewers that have been reading my polls and lessons weekly for the last 167 weeks. No breaks in the rhythm. No excuses for missing a Sunday. Just sheer consistency that forces me to practice what I preach.
Every successful business person should be consistent in dealing with their clients. Every loving husband or wife should be consistent when interacting with their spouse. Every parent should be consistent in their relationships and decisions regarding their children. Our judicial system should be consistent. Our government should be consistent. Our schools should be consistent. In fact I feel safe to say that if success and achievement is a goal, a high level of consistency is the road to lead you there.
So now you may ask: how do you develop this consistency, professed to be so important in life? My answer would be: one step at a time. You can't travel down any road until you take the first step. If you want to drive 1265 miles from New Jersey to South Florida, you can't get there until you get in to your car. You have to drive mile one, two, three and so forth, for 20 long hours. There are no shortcuts that will get you there any faster. You have to put your time in on the road and consistently steer your car in the right direction.
The same is true in developing any type of consistent behavior. I wrote the Introduction to Learning Life's Lessons on August 22nd 2004. I set a goal to write at least 100 of these lessons for my viewers and perhaps publish them in an e-book. That was 51 weeks ago and I am still at it. It's not in my thought process to skip a Sunday. I just know that I am going to write a lesson every single week. I refuse to let myself down. That's the kind of resolve you need to develop consistency. No excuses. JUST DO IT!
The by-product of each small goal you achieve is the empowering force of confidence to stretch yourself to achieve even more difficult goals. Laziness is not part of the formula in the prescription for developing consistency. Neither is making excuses and whining. You must keep completing the necessary steps to develop consistent, positive behavior. If you can persevere, the payoff in wealth, happiness and fulfillment can be huge. In celebrating this 52nd issue of Learning Life's Lessons, always remember: CONSISTENCY COUNTS!