Coach’s Challenge for November 22, 2004

Good morning Team,

The coach’s challenge for the week is to be consistent. The definition for consistent in the dictionary reads as follows: Agreeing or accordant, compatible, not self-contradictory. Constantly adhering to the same principles, course, form, etc. Holding firmly together, cohering. Syn. Congruous, harmonious.

Year’s ago I asked Bill McGowan, the founder and first CEO of MCI, what he thought were the three most important qualities a leader needed to possess. He answered, ‘authenticity, consistency and a sense of humor’. My observation is that authenticity comes with experience, wisdom and courage. These are qualities that do not come easily to any of us. It is through many years of successes and failures that we begin to understand more about who we really are and become more authentic in our actions. Consistency, on the other hand, is something we can work at everyday. Certainly, consistency is a part of authenticity. If we are able to be consistent by supporting our words with the same actions, we find that trust begins to grow with our team members and colleagues.

I often think of Abraham Lincoln in this context. He was a good example of someone who was consistent. Throughout his Presidency, his words and deeds were the same; he adhered to the same fundamental principles and continued to give the same messages, regardless of his challenges. His words and actions have stood the test of time and they are as authentic today as they were in his time.

Try being more consistent in your actions this week. If you say you’ll do something, do it. If you know your team members are confused because you’ve said one thing and are doing another, try taking the time to give them a clearer message. If you’re counseling someone to work more cooperatively, try being more cooperative yourself. Try walking the talk and meaning it. Everyone will see you as being more consistent and they will trust in your actions.

Have a great week (and Happy Thanksgiving!) –

Kathleen

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