Are You Consistent or Stubborn?

May we live in interesting times.

Normally I would agree with that sentiment, ironically intended or not. But lately I’m not so sure. Do the times have to be so very interesting?

As Exhibit A, consider the pandemic. No, not that one, even though it is making a comeback. I mean the Pandemic of Stubbornness. This totally unnecessary pandemic is creating epic divides blocking any reasonable progress in any direction.

What divides? I give you Exhibits B, C & D: Vaccines, Elections & Climate.

Come on, people. Stop this nonsense and let’s pull together, united as one. (No. You go. I’m not giving in first. What do you mean I’m being stubborn? I’m being consistent!)


Are You Consistent or Stubborn?

Being consistent (at work) matters because it enables others to anticipate how you will act. Consistency is the basis of trust. Trust allows you to rely on others to behave as expected and deliver as promised. Ultimately, consistency reduces costs related to supervising and coordinating.

If you always do the same thing in the same situation, then you are being consistent. But what if the situation has changed? Or new facts emerge?

Does it make sense to be consistent in terms of who you were back then? And if you now adapt to this new world, will you be seen as inconsistent and therefore untrustworthy?

Actually, being suspected of being untrustworthy could be the lesser risk. If you are consistently unwilling to adapt, to change when faced with additional facts, then you will be seen as plain stubborn.

And we all know that stubborn too often creates nonsense (at work). That’s the real risk.

Welcome to my side of the nonsense divide.


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