If you want to have a breakthrough year in your business, there are two important traits that will significantly help your progress: boldness and consistency.

Boldness will help you break from the status quo, so you can deliver remarkable experiences to the customers you serve. And consistency will ensure your customers have delightful experiences over and over again, so they'll keep coming back for more.

But it isn't enough to decide that boldness and consistency will be growth levers for your business. You've got to make them an integral part of your company culture. While consistency is something many people know they struggle with (the majority of new year's resolutions are abandoned by February), I've started to notice the same challenge when it comes to boldness.

Over the past few months, I've posted several times on social media about being bold. In each case, I've been surprised by the responses I've received. People express their desire to be bold. Some already have the ideas for what they would do if they had the courage. But the challenge is that they don't feel comfortable enough to act on those ideas.

I understand why this is the case. Being bold is uncomfortable. You have to deal with the judgmental stares and whispers that come when you dare to step out of the norm to do something different.

But you can't boldly step into a new era of growth if you or your team is stuck in a rut playing it safe. Follow these three steps to build and nurture a company culture where taking bold action is as natural as brushing your teeth.

1. Lead by example.

I've stepped up my game significantly in the past year when it comes to being bold. Because I want boldness to be an integral part of the culture as I work to build my team, I can't shy away from showing it.

A few months ago, I recorded a "Purple Rain" music video and sent it to my email list. A few weeks after that I suited up in a purple princess dress and walked a few blocks to the subway station with my photographer to snap some photos. 

Each bold activity had a specific purpose when it came to producing content for my customers. But in the process of my executing the bold ideas I had in my head, my team grew accustomed to my out-of-the-ordinary way of doing things. And now, they come to me with ideas on how to elevate my different ideas even further.

Show your team that it's OK to ditch the status quo, by doing it on a regular basis. Demonstrate with your actions your expectations and standard of excellence for the team's actions. 

2. Reward bold action.

One of the reasons people are reluctant to take bold action is that they are unsure of how it will be received. Thus, if you get in the habit of rewarding and celebrating your team for coloring outside the lines as they work, you will teach them that your company is a safe space for taking bold action.

The celebrations can be as simple as public recognition over email or in a meeting. You could also reward individuals and teams by giving them additional budget dollars to experiment further.

As you showcase to your team that the process of taking bold action is more important than the outcome, they will get more comfortable exploring ways to solve your customers' problems like none other.

3. Provide opportunities for your team to do things outside their comfort zone.

Even though you tell people you want them to take bold action, there will be times when a bit of additional help is needed for them to take the first step. The first step forward is a crucial one, because it will give your team the experience of doing something out of the norm while seeing that their world won't implode in the process.

To accelerate the process of moving your team out of the safe zone, provide opportunities to help them unleash their inner boldness.

Consider organizing a team karaoke night, scheduling a themed photo shoot, or tasking your team to make fun videos on a particular topic.

It's unfair to your team to expect that they will just start to be bold on their own if that isn't how they are used to operating. Being bold is a skill that can be taught, just like writing, speaking, or coding.

Follow the steps above to develop the skill of taking bold action within your team, to make it a core part of your company culture.

Published on: Mar 29, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.