The Most Underrated Skill in the Workplace (part
This is a story of two parts. And that’s because I think there are two underrated skills in the work place. First up? Being consistent.
Something I struggle a lot with is being consistent but I think it is the model that most people use to achieve success. Having the capacity to day in, day out deliver on what you said you would — whatever that is, is a great skill to cultivate and is a game-changer. Having recently listened to Matt D’Avella’s Ground Up podcast he talks to Jason Zook. Those of you that don’t know who Jason Zook is… he’s the guy that wore three hundred and sixty-five different t-shirts for a year and created a business out of it, he managed to get sponsored for every single different t-shirt he wore. It’s clear that being consistent was one of Jason’s tools for his huge success. And taking that thought broader — most ‘successful’ people in the world (if define success as money and freedom for this example) they are all consistent. Ever seen that famous photo of Jeff Bezos in that empty room with ‘Amazon’ spray painted on a make-shift sign. He had to be pretty consistent in his early years to get to the richest guy in the world.
Being consistent means different things to different people and you can be consistent in many different ways… Words that we associate with being consistent are dependable, logical, persistent, steady and rational.
Being consistent to you could literally just mean turning up for work, although I do hope we are shooting a little higher than that. It could mean being consistent with your morning routine — get up, shower, breakfast (not coco pops), run, yoga, book — whatever. Or it could mean making sure you consistently learn from the stuff you get wrong because you are forever telling yourself that you make the same mistakes over and over again. For example, I write articles with spelling mistakes in all the time because I type too quickly and then post it because I’m bad at proof reading… I’m trying to learn from my mistakes.
For Jason and for Matt I think what it means for them — or at least what I took away from the podcast, is that it is about setting yourself the standards i.e. you want to go for a run three times a week, or you want to make sure you always follow up a meeting with an email or you want to make sure you eat healthy for at least four days this week and then committing to sticking to it. Allow yourself some rules around it — Matt talks about his two day rule.. for him it works because he can have a day off once but not twice in a row. Sometimes it is just about showing up — especially when you’re doing something new. It’s easy to get demotivated in the start of anything because that is typically when you are learnt to adjust and I think we all know how easy it is to go back to old habits.
Being consistent means that you are committing to having a certain amount of quality in your work and delivering it on a continuous basis. To deliver that you have to be committed to stick to your deadline.
Thinking about it — maybe I shouldn’t underestimate how valuable it is to ‘just show up’.