A few weeks ago our family was on vacation – 18th annual trip – to the Canaan Valley, WV. One of our traditions is to visit the Purple Fiddle in the booming town of Thomas, WV. While we were walking along the sidewalk, approaching our destination, I noticed the rain rolling off the rooftop above resulting in little divots along the sidewalk. I’ve walked here dozens of times and never made the connection between the divots and the rainfall. Not a big moment in history, but it made me think and wonder about the power of consistency.
Those little raindrops, which I’d hardly felt on my own skin, managed to dig holes in cement. Yikes. There’s so little power in a drop of rain, but consistency clearly gives it exponential power. Holes in cement. Imagine if I stood there for decades…I’d be pretty tired and stiff, and full of holes.
Just look at the Grand Canyon – its depth carved out by the Colorado River, and it’s width by rain and snowmelt. That’s some pretty powerful impact over time.
There’s a business concept often referenced along this thinking called Kaizen. Wikipedia defines it this way: Kaizen, Chinese and Japanese for "'continuous improvement". When used in the business sense and applied to the workplace, kaizen refers to activities that continually improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. It also applies to processes, such as purchasing and logistics that cross organizational boundaries into the supply chain.
Another concept, shared in a book called The Slight Edge, shares something similar. As in the Kaizen definition, it speaks of “continuous,” but also, “small.” Improvements, actions, or “hits” don’t have to be big or grand; they just have to be consistent and purposeful.
The major factor here is consistency.
Base hits win games.
Consistent “touches” win sales.
Smiles build relationships.
A mile at a time builds endurance.
A marathon is not 26.2 miles; it’s 1 mile 26 times, plus that nasty little .2! Who added that?!