Spring training for Major League Baseball players is all about practicing the right concepts and covering all likely baseball scenarios. Once the skills are honed, what you hear from most managers, coaches and players is that they need to see consistency.
Sure, players might have a great spring and make the big leagues, but if they don’t consistently perform, they will be sent back to the minor leagues on the next bus.
Said one frustrated baseball player, “One night we play like King Kong, the next night like Fay Wray.”
Homerun slugger Hank Aaron summed it up: “Consistency is what counts; you have to be able to do things over and over again.”
Former New York Yankee Manager Joe Torre said: “Whatever your job is, consistency is the hallmark. It’s much more important than doing something spectacular just once. Do your job consistently and you will be considered good.”
Torre was talking about much more than baseball. Life, like baseball, is all about consistency. Consistency might sound downright boring, but it’s a critical element of success.
“Variety may be the spice of life, but consistency pays the bills,” observes Doug Cooper, author of “Outside In.”
Being consistent applies to all areas – school, work and family. If you are raising children, you know all about being consistent.
If you are running a restaurant, you are very familiar with the importance of consistency. Every food item must be served the same way every time. Customers expect it.
I occasionally go to McDonald’s, not because they have the best hamburger, but because I know exactly what I’m going to get. I don’t like surprises.
It’s the same with any brand. When your audience sees and hears a consistent message from your brand, it reinforces your unique selling proposition in their minds. By knowing what they can expect from your brand, and hearing it multiple times, they will begin to assign a higher value and trust in your business – and it shows that you take your business seriously.
It means providing predictable, reliable results to the customer or client every time they do business with you.
Employees should expect the same consistency as customers. Employees should always know what is expected of them and how they will be treated.
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals,” said the late Jim Rohn, a friend and crony of mine.
Big goals require three things: a plan, commitment to carry out that plan and consistency. Getting started is hard enough, but consistently carrying out your plan is more difficult. Even the best business plans will fail without a dedication to consistency.
How many people started out the new year with plans to work out more, get in better shape and lose some weight? Without consistency those resolutions go down the drain in weeks.
Say you set a goal to run a marathon as I did years ago and completed 10 of them. You must organize a consistent practice schedule and be consistent in your workouts, rain or shine. Missing a workout is like telling a lie, and the next lies come easier and easier.
Remember Aesop’s Fable, The Tortoise and the Hare. A hare insulted a tortoise on account of his slowness, and vainly boasted of her own great speed in running.
“Let us make a match,” replied the tortoise. “I will run with you five miles … and the fox yonder shall be the umpire of the race.”
The hare agreed, and away they both started together. But the hare, because of exceeding swiftness, outran the tortoise to such a degree that she made a jest of the matter. Finding herself a little tired, she lay down on a tuft of ferns that grew by the way, and took a nap. She reasoned that, if the tortoise went by, she would know it and could with ease catch up and pass the tortoise to win the race.
However, when the tortoise came crawling by with slow but continued motion, the hare overslept and did not wake up, allowing the tortoise to win the race.
Are you a tortoise or a hare? Keep your eye on the prize, and consistency will get you there.
Mackay’s Moral: If you are persistent, you will get it. If you are consistent, you will keep it.