Are you a consistent leader?

A question that I received as part of the #askcio series is what is the most important leadership trait for a CIO/leader.

leadership words collage

A leader is someone who should be able to inspire confidence with everyone in the organization at all times, as opposed to someone who has momentary flashes of brilliance. When a leader is consistent, they are able to inspire trust, whereas a leader who is inconsistent can leave their charges reeling on a daily basis. 

Let's take a closer look at the most important aspects of consistent leadership.  

1. Focus on critical areas 

Consistent leaders are able to maintain focus on a few critical issues, as opposed to leaders who are guilty of spreading themselves far too thin. For those who are tasked with following a certain leader, the easiest way to lose the group is to fail to remain consistent about the issues that truly matter to the long term health of the company. 

For example, a leader that focuses on programs and initiatives that are trendy at the expense of the big picture can irritate their subordinates because of their perceived inability to maximize time. Once a leader has committed to a certain course of action, they need to be willing to see it through until the very end.  

2. Behavior/demeanor  

While no one would suggest that a leader should be a robot, they should have a consistent demeanor and temperament. If a leader is inconsistent from a behavioral standpoint, staff members can begin to feel as if the leader is shaky and unreliable. Not knowing which version of your boss is going to show up at the office each day can be incredibly jarring. 

A leader needs to take a certain approach into the office each day. They must realize that they are always on stage and that every little move is going to be scrutinized. A consistent leaders maintains the same demeanor whether things are going well or everything around them is crumbling. Leaders that can maintain a consistent demeanor inspire far more confidence in their teams than leaders who noticeably panic. 

3. Customer Relations 

A business cannot be built without offering value to the customer. Providing value to the client is something that starts at the top and the tone is set with consistent leadership. While most customers have allowed themselves to become disillusioned and accustomed to poor service, a leader that makes a consistent effort to break this cycle engenders far greater customer loyalty.  

When a company is building an advertising campaign, a consistent leader places the proper amount of emphasis on maintaining the same message over the course of time. They also teach their staffs how to maintain a consistent presence with their customers and give them the tools needed to boost credibility. Maintaining a consistent message boosts customer awareness of your business and serves to increase positive word of mouth.  

4. Maintaining the message 

 When a company or department is building a campaign or cultural change, a consistent leader places the proper amount of emphasis on maintaining the same message over the course of time. They also teach their staffs how to maintain a consistent presence with their customers and give them the tools needed to boost credibility. Maintaining a consistent message boosts customer awareness of your business and serves to increase positive word of mouth.  This is an area of focus for the next generation of CIOs that are focusing on creating a partnership with their peers in an organization. 

5. Employee accountability  

 If a leader is asking their employees to remain accountable for their goals and does not practice the message that they are preaching to their subordinates, this can lead to severe discontent among staff members. When a leader places a high priority on remaining accountable to the goals that they have set for themselves and their company, the staff has no choice but to fall in line.  

 Here is my advice for being consistent as a leader.  I would love to hear your feedback in the comment sections and send me your questions for the next #askcio blog.  I am available on the various social channels below and snapchat 

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