While the horse looked friendly enough, I believed the sign. As I looked at the sign, then the horse, then the sign, a thought struck me. Sometimes a co-worker does not look like they bite and then watch out: Mike Tyson came alive in your office. What if everyone came with a sign that warned us of their tendencies? What would yours say? No, really-what would your sign say? What would you write on the sign for your boss, your spouse, or your cubicle mate?
We often have to guess. C-level people have a “tell”. Their executive assistant is often asked, “what kind of mood are they in today?” or “should I come back later?” It is as though they have their own sign that says, ASK ASSISTANT BEFORE ENTER.
Imagine the amount of time that is wasted every day. In many companies around America lower level people ask of higher level people what kind of mood they are in that hour or that day. It is plausible to imagine times when an issue is not brought up because the “sign” outside the CEO said DO NOT ENTER OR ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK. So the lower level person waited an hour or a day to make the CEO aware or seek their help.
First you have to ask what your sign would say today. Then you have to ask what should it say?
In the 21st century C-Suite the most valuable words on your sign would read CONSISTENT. Consistency has a huge value in the workplace today. At all levels consistency can be more important than excellence.
What is the #1 killer of restuarants? It is not price and not quality. No one will ever accuse McD of being the highest quality. THE #1 KILLER of restaurnts is inconsistency. Inconsistent in service or quality is worse than poor quality. The same applies to your value.
The more consistent you are the more value you have.
Look around your office. Imagine a sign on the door of each person you work with that said I BITE, or I DO NOT BITE, or I BITE WHEN NOT FED. Once you start looking there are signs everywhere. The problem is that many of those signs do not say CONSISTENT, CONSISTENCY IS MY VALUE, I AM ALWAYS APPROACHABLE.
Yes we need to invest in ourselves and improve in our area of expertise. But consistency will trump expertise every time. Because regardless of your profession, speed is of utmost importance.
Inconsistency will delay decisions, problem solving and therefore moving forward. In order to communicate and protect your value, your sign needs to read to both yourself and your audience: CONSISTENT, CONSISTENCY IS MY VALUE, I AM ALWAYS APPROACHABLE.
Read more posts by Leslie Ungar here. Leslie blogs for JenningsWire.
JenningsWire.com is created by National Publicity Firm, Annie Jennings PR that specializes in providing book marketing strategies to self-published and traditionally published authors. Annie Jennings PR books authors, speakers and experts on major top city radio talk shows that broadcast to the heart of the market, on local, regionally syndicated and national TV shows and on influential online media and in prestigious print magazines and newspapers.