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Operator’s Key Entrepreneurial Attribute: Consistency

In order for a company to be truly successful, it needs three key attributes: Patience, Consistency and Focus. The Operator entrepreneurial style is the most consistent of the three styles.
You enjoy working a plan and taking care of the details. The other two entrepreneurial styles rely on you to take care of the day to day tasks. You perform these tasks with much greater accuracy than they do. You understand the need for things to be done right and you love to check things off of your list. You must stay strong when an Implementer or Visionary suggests that you take a shortcut or skip a step.

You will be anxious when all of the details of a plan are not fully worked out. Don’t mistaken this ambiguity as a gap in the plan or as a lack of clear strategy. You are running the processes on a daily basis and you should bring up any gaps that you find. Your counterparts may not know those gaps exist and the longer you run a process, the less likely anyone else will raise a concern or address it. Pay close attention to new people following a process to help identify potential gaps.

You rely on Implementers to build the initial process and you should bring them into a conversation to translate these processes to the Visionaries.

Your Visionary counterparts want everything to be done today. The details frustrate them and they tend to believe everything is “easy” – or should be easier than it is. They are the first to recommend abandoning a plan or process. Your best bet is to listen to their idea but to run the process anyway unless they provide a compelling reason beyond frustration for abandoning something that is working. Companies fail everyday because they stop doing the good things that got them to where they are today.

Visionaries look at the problem through a broader lense and will recommend an idea neither an you or an Implementer will consider. Rely on them for brainstorming and long term strategic planning – but don’t expect they will build the railing necessary to put these plans in play or do the day to day work to make the plan successful.

#2 Consistency

Even the best business plans will fail without a dedication to consistency.

If I say I’m going to do something, I do it. If I say I’m going to be somewhere, I’m there. If I initiate a new business process or initiative, I follow through. In my experience, consistency is a must as you build and grow your business.

Here’s why:

1. Consistency allows for measurement.

Until you have tried something new for a period of time and in a consistent manner, you can’t decide if it works or not. How do you measure effectiveness if what you are measuring isn’t performed consistently?

I typically give new initiatives, processes, and organizational structures at least six months before judging them a success or failure. It’s often minor tweaking instead of major overhauls that make the difference.

2. Consistency creates accountability.

I ask my employees to be accountable for their deliverables and goals. They should expect the same in return from my leadership. I put a priority on making time for and being available to my team. I work to establish consistent and recurring meetings when a project or aspect of the business requires attention.

The simple fact that there is a set time to report on progress is often the catalyst that moves an initiative along to a successful end.

3. Consistency establishes your reputation.

Business growth requires a track record of success. You can’t establish a track record if you are constantly shifting gears or trying new tactics. Many efforts fail before they get to the finish line, but not because the tactic was flawed or goals weren’t clear. The problem is often that the team simply didn’t stay the course to achieve the objective.

4. Consistency makes you relevant.

Your employees and your customers need a predictable flow of information from you. All too often I see businesses, both small and large, adopt a campaign or initiative only to end it before it gains traction. It’s effective to run many advertisements, numerous blog entries, weekly newsletters, or continual process changes throughout a year and be consistent with the flow of information you are providing.

5. Consistency maintains your message.

Your team pays as much or more attention to what you do as to what you say. Consistency in your leadership serves as a model for how they will behave. If you treat a meeting as unimportant, don’t be surprised when you find they are doing the same to fellow teammates or even customers.

When something doesn’t work, I look back at what happened and ask some serious questions. Did we shift gears too quickly? Did part of the team not deliver on a commitment? Or was the expected outcome off base from the start? Most of the time, the reason tracks back to lack of consistency.

If your an Operator, consistency is your greatest entrepreneurial asset.