It’s the little things – why consistency matters in leadership and relationships

‘It’s the little things that matter most.’ We have all heard this line before, and many of you will have even shared this wisdom with others. But how tuned in are you to the little things that are part of your practice? And more importantly, can you honestly say, hand on heart, that you do them consistently…not most of the time, or more often that not, but every day?

A terrific 4.5min interview with Simon Sinek has been doing the rounds of late, and we thought we’d share it with you. The concepts apply to relationships of all kinds; those with your significant other, with your children, with your colleagues, and if you are a leader, with those you lead…

Simon says ‘It’s about the little, consistent things we do everyday that makes the difference!’

He talks about there being no single event that makes people trust you, that makes people enjoy working with you, or even that makes people love you…

“There is no single thing you can be told you have to do so your people will trust you. It’s the accumulation of lots and lots of little things, and any one by themselves is innocuous and useless…”  “But, if you do it consistently and in combination with lots and lots of other little things – like saying ‘good morning’ to someone, like ‘looking them in the eye'” – then they begin to trust you, enjoy working with you, or as Simon explains, in certain relationships, even love you!

Putting marbles in the jar

In a recent DiA Discoveries post called ‘innovation and shame’, we shared some thinking inspired by the great work of Brene Brown and her book Daring Greatly. Brene is also known for sharing her story about the ‘marbles in the jar’ concept – which visually represents the same themes explored in Simon’s video.

Trust and relationships are built by the little things; the small acts, moments and gestures that are little deposits or investments in a relationship; or if you will, each moment is like placing a marble in the jar. Lots and lots of these little things repeated consistently over time mean more and more marbles are added to the jar. They are not built by grand gestures that are fleeting and then gone. As leaders our aim is to keep adding ‘marbles’ to our relationships…and to be very, very wary of making any withdrawals.

Watch Simon’s video to hear the great stories that help make this concept even more powerful, then feel free to download our visual of the marbles in the jar concept, as a reminder to help you make consistent ‘deposits’.