We think and write so much about leadership… well, I know I do! On this blog, I’ve shared thoughts about leadership types, creating a human-first culture, purpose-driven leadership, and the importance of vision+action. Today, I’m thinking about the underrated quality of consistency, which provides such a critical foundation for success. Are you a consistent leader?

No one likes being called “predictable.”

It feels boring… someone predictable may be seen as a person who doesn’t stand out. Perhaps you imagine a weary mid-level manager who plods along, day after day, doing the same thing.

But what’s the other side of this coin? A predictable leader eliminates the disruptive churn that comes from trying to guess how the boss is feeling today. Someone predictable can be counted on. You see, developing expected routines and exhibiting predictable behavior creates a sense of comfort and safety. And when the leader is predictable, people know what to expect. This reduces the emotional investment that goes into trying to guess after… adjust around… or manage the boss.

Consistent leadership - how to engage people (Expected vs. Unexpected)

Do you find this slide helpful? I created it for a speaking event with leaders at Audi; for the full recap on How Audi is driving change, click here.

Staying on this slide for a moment, some sprinkles of unexpected workplace experiences can inject delight and joy! When the foundation of consistent leadership is in place, these fun events can elevate our daily workplace and culture.

Back to the subject at hand: Are you a consistent leader?

After marinating on this topic for a week or so, I’ve realized that this is a characteristic I need to work on. In the past, I’ve sacrificed consistency in the name of passion and spontaneity. But it’s not an either-or. That’s why I’ve decided that I consider “predictable” to be a compliment and will be doubling down on consistent leadership.

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For some podcasts I’ve done on leadership,