One of the key aspects of growth is consistency.
And the definition of consistency is the quality or fact of staying the same at different times.
Staying the same when all around you is shaking – remaining steadfast in your commitments to growth and being true to who you are, whilst everything else seems to be falling apart around you.
That my friend, takes some inner strength.
From where I’m sitting in my comfortable home office on the outskirts of Suva City, the capital of the Fiji Islands, the month of February arrived with the means to test the resolve of all who call this place home.
As dawn broke on February 1st, the whole country was waking up to the awareness of the extent of the devastation brought about by Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Ana who caused intense flooding all around the country and in areas that had rarely flooded in the past.
While TC Ana was not as strong as Category 5 TC Yasa which battered the Northern Division of the country in December, 2020, TC Ana left her mark by uprooting trees that had previously stood the test of time in strategic locations around the capital city and awakening its inhabitants to the reality of the force of nature that had bypassed Suva and its surrounding areas in the more recent years.
And as if that was not enough, TC Ana was swiftly followed by a sequence of events, which has contributed to the dismantling of regional coherence at two key regional institutions – the University of the South Pacific and political body, the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat.
I will not bore you with my take on it all, but it was a bit difficult to be too removed given the support role that SALT Inc. had played in the campaign for Fiji’s candidate to the Secretary General position at the Pacific Islands Forum.
My point here though is consistency – and the difficulty of managing oneself consistently in the midst of the chaos and crisis. John C Maxwell did an excellent teaching session on Leading Through Crisis, soon after the world went into lockdown following the outbreak of COVID19, in 2020.
Maxwell highlights how a crisis is a distraction for a leader and it pulls the leader away from their life focus, towards something else. The month of February has certainly brought with it many things seeking to pull one’s attention away from what is at hand.
The mind wandering, negative thinking and uncertain anxiety that Maxwell talks about in Leading Through Crisis has been a very real battle for our SALT team.
Which warrants the question, how does one manage to remain consistent and ensure that the trajectory of growth does not plateau but slowly and consistently turns upward in the midst of the chaos.
The answer may differ for everyone but Maxwell makes the point – “Just because someone else’s sky is falling, it doesn’t mean the leader’s sky is too.”
In other words, if it doesn’t directly impact you – let it go. Shut out the distractions and the noise and remain intently focused on the things that you have influence over.
For team SALT that has meant being focused on bringing the best of us to the Leadershift Mastermind group that meets every Tuesday, the Mentoring Community group that meets on Thursday and the youth leadership programme on Saturday. It has also meant showing up fully to deliver the work that we have been tasked to deliver at this time, and doing it with a spirit of excellence.
So our encouragement to you is stay consistent and laser focused on what is within your sphere of influence and simply let go of the rest. Recognise that where your focus goes, your energy flows. Ask yourself if what you are currently focused on is deserving of all your energy, or are you allowing yourself to get caught up in a wave of distraction that is taking you off course.
We leave you with a quote from Maxwell’s book Leadershift
“Consistency maintains your message. When a leader communicates a vision but acts in ways that are inconsistent with that vision the result is confusion. It distracts from the message and makes it more difficult for everyone on the team.”
May God keep us from the confusion of distractions and help us to remain consistently consistent on our journey's of growth.