Sacrificial Lambs

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To paraphrase Johnny Carson as the Great Karnak: writing a good blog; growing your business; sacrificial lambs. What do they have in common?

Other than sometimes feeling like you need to give blood to get somewhere, they all require consistency.

Writing a Blog

People write blogs for many reasons. Some feel the need to write; others do it to market a product or service; some to get a message out. Whatever the purpose, the most successful ones do so consistently. If they write once a day, they write once every single day. If they write once a week, like a news magazine, they write once every single week.

There are three reasons why consistency is important:

  1. Market: customers/readers come to expect the "daily fix". Meeting those expectations strengthens the customer relationship.
  2. Efficiency: Practice does, indeed, make perfect. The more often you write, the easier it gets. Those who write daily often find it can take one fourth the time of those who write less frequently and especially less consistently.
  3. Self: Doing an activity, any activity, with consistency changes you, it transforms the activity from something you do into becoming part of who you arefrom "I write" to "I am a writer"; "I sell" to "I am a salesman."

The last point is particularly important, especially with regards to the other activities.

Running a Business

Maybe you head up sales, perhaps your focus is cloud operations, maybe it is marketing, could be software engineering. Whatever you do, you want to have great results. Because you are a smart and capable leader, you find the few metrics that are the best at keeping you successful.

Aside: if you don't know what those few key metrics are, get someone who can help you find them. Fast.

But since your job involves delivery and execution, not measurement, how do you make sure that you keep on top of those metrics? How do you ensure they work their way into every task and employee in your organization? Consistency. You measure these metrics every single week, if not more often. Some you might only measure once a month. But whatever your frequency, do it consistently. When your employees learn that you will check the sales pipeline, or network uptime, or market share, or speed of feature release, every single Tuesday morning, they will focus on it.

More importantly, measuring success will become a part of your very nature.

Sacrificial Lambs

In the words of Bill Cosby, "read your Bible." The priests in the Temple in Jerusalem were required to bring one lamb in the morning, and one in the afternoon, every single day. Sun or rain, cloud or shine, fast or feast, those sacrificial lambs (and this is the source of the phrase) were brought. The Bible understood that the people needed consistency to make the worship part of them, to change their very nature.

If it truly matters to your work, self or business, the consistency with which you perform both measures the importance, and makes it part of you.