Consistency, like compounding, is one of those constructs that our minds don't intuitively grasp. They are two sides of the same coin, consistency compounds.
On a recent episode of Invest Like the Best, Howard Marks observed that if an investor performs in the top quartile annually for 20 years they will be in the top decile for the entire period. That's the power of consistency.
Jeff Bezos officially stepped down from Amazon yesterday. Perhaps no public communication from a CEO is as consistent as his shareholder letters.
Each letter contained the same metrics and almost always within the first 500 words - revenue, customer count, and cash balance.
Simple. Powerful. Consistent.
Bezos always finished with what he called "long-view" to consistently remind shareholders that Amazon was a multi-decade project.
As a result, few companies enjoyed a lower cost of capital or long-term shareholder patience over the last 2 decades.
Consistency is also key for spreading priorities within an organization. Bob Iger believed in the clarity of priorities because the clearer the vision, the more likely it would be repeated. Repetition is consistency.
Authenticity drives consistency. Businesses that never stray from their messaging or focus do so because they believe in their mission.
These firms work daily to move slowly, one step at a time, in the right direction. Almost always, this means working on the things that appear not to matter, much in the same way that one day of writing or one day of exercise doesn't appear to matter.
Yet, those unheroic days can make for heroic decades, and that's the power of consistency.