Curt Simmons was an outstanding pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals and in particular 1964. In writing about him, David Halberstam said, “He was a manager’s dream-six or seven quality innings on every start, a pitcher who performed well even when he did not have his best stuff (Halberstam, p. 242).” Curt Simmons was consistent.
Several years ago, I played in a weekly tennis league and at the end of the league’s season, each of the league members would vote on various awards to be given to the other players. I was nowhere nearly as talented as the others in the group; however, my colleagues gave me an award of “Most Consistent”. I have often wondered what was meant by being the most consistent. Webster’s on-line dictionary defines consistent as “always acting or behaving in the same way: of the same quality: continuing to happen or develop in the same way.”
Relating consistency to a business means a consistent company always performs in a certain way that ensures a viable on-going enterprise through all of the ups and downs of a business cycle. A consistent company always:
- Plans for the future by developing well thought out long term strategic plans and short term budgets and forecasts at least yearly.
- Performs continuing rigorous analysis of everyone on their team to ensure they have the right people in the right places, particularly those in managing roles.
- Maintains an updated, comprehensive, marketing, sales, and branding plan to stay visible to new customers and ahead of the competition.
- Analyzes every month and on a timely basis key financial data to ensure they are staying on track in meeting their financial goals.
- Continually forecasts cash flow knowing that cash is the lifeblood of the business.
Consistency is a good quality and a vital one in achieving success in business. Be consistent!
*Halberstam, David, (1994, 1995), October 1964