Consistency as Key to Converting Intention Into Action – ME&A
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Consistency as Key to Converting Intention Into Action

Consistency as Key to Converting Intention Into Action

“When all is said and done, more is said than done.” ― Lou Holtz, retired U.S. football coach and sportscaster

How do you convert intention into action? Michael Canic, president of Making Strategy Happen, a consulting firm specializing in helping leaders translate ambition into strategy and action, explains in his interesting book Ruthless Consistency: How Committed Leaders Execute Strategy, Implement Change, and Build Organizations That Win (2020). In it, he introduces an intuitive model for turning ambitions into strategy and then strategy into reality by:

  • Developing the right focus
  • Creating the right environment
  • Building the right team
  • Demonstrating the right commitment

If these four strategies are applied with consistency, we will not only be capable of strengthening workplace culture, we will also become capable of executing strategy, implementing change, and building a high-performing company, which wins! Canic begins his book by outlining three principles:

  • What matters more than anything we do is everything we do.
  • What we do is not as important as what our coworkers experience.
  • We are not as committed as we need to be…. yet.

Canic stresses that many Strategic Change Initiatives (SCIs) fail because leaders do not have a complete picture of reality, what it takes to execute strategic change, their role in making it happen, and the level of commitment required. He emphasizes that consistency is often the missing secret sauce. Consistency is defined as conformity in the application of something – typically that which is necessary for the sake of logic, accuracy, or fairness. In other words, consistency:

  • Is the unwavering commitment to daily actions, routines, and habits as the critical driver for success
  • Means dedicating ourselves to our goals and staying focused on the things and activities to achieve them

Canic emphasizes consistency requires a long-term commitment and involves sustained effort in performing actions repeatedly until we achieve our targets. This transforms dreams into reality in all aspects of life. Whether it’s pursuing a career, mastering a skill, maintaining relationships, or achieving personal goals being consistent plays a crucial role. While talent and opportunity certainly contribute to success, it is the persistent and unwavering commitment to consistency that propels us toward desired outcomes. By building habits, developing discipline, making consistent progress, building trust, overcoming setbacks, and aligning our actions with our goals, we position ourselves for remarkable achievements.

Canic finishes his book by emphasizing again that what we do is not as important as what our coworkers experience. It is not about us; it is through us. We must align their hearts and minds with winning. We must equip them and enable them to succeed. We must mentor them not just manage them. We must design our companies to support them and always value them as individuals as human becomings, especially during something traumatic like the COVID-19 pandemic.

What drives all of this is the consistency of our commitment. We must either elevate our commitment to what is required to win or redefine winning to match our commitment. There will be many challenges – obstacles, setbacks, and frustrations – but they will not determine our success. Because in the end, it is not us versus those challenges. It’s our inconsistency versus our consistency.