Leading Well Means Leading With Consistency
One of my military bosses was a Marine. He was a terrific leader, a seasoned combat veteran, and he played by the rules. He also threw the book at people who did not. People who got into trouble could expect the maximum punishment.
Lots of people thought he was unfair.
Word spread quickly. Discipline issues dropped dramatically. Why? He did not vacillate. He did not equivocate. People sometimes thought he was being mean, but he was not a mean guy. He was consistent.
Consistency provides reassurance for others. Consistent behavior means reliable outcomes. Consistency means policies are solid and clear and that actions follow policies.
Without consistency, there is confusion, doubt, and uncertainty.
When Bella came into my life this past year I was reminded of the need for consistency in puppy training. The consistency theme is in Master Your World in Chapter 3 (click here to read chapter 3). If some kind of action or behavior was okay yesterday, it should be okay tomorrow.
If you don’t want the puppy to chew on your shoes for the next 15 years, don’t let the puppy chew on your shoes now, even when it is super cute and they are not doing any real damage. But in a year, 10 seconds of casual contact will ruin those shoes. So don’t let it happen now.
Otherwise, changing policies when nothing else has changed is confusing for the puppy (and people). To correct the bad habit later is going to be much tougher.
Teach puppies, and people, correctly the first time. Fix the wrong behavior appropriately and quickly so that is does not become something larger later.
People, like puppies, appreciate great bosses who are consistent in what they say and what they do.