An effective leader is also a follower. He is the first person he leads. Thus, if he teaches and expects his people to be disciplined, he should be the first one to possess the trait.
In any business and field of work, including our daily routine in the house or with other people, discipline is necessary. Without discipline, we are no more than barbarians who do everything out of instinct without really considering what other people think.
Hence, who would want to listen to an uncontrollable freak? Who would dare follow his instructions out of antagonism and anger? Leaders like you have to acquire the quality of discipline, not only because the society expects you to; but also because in leadership, you will get to meet many people coming from different walks of life. You have to deal with all of them!
You will hear every single story, every single excuse, and every single request that differs from one another. You will see various attitudes – bold, forward, bashful, and unstable. Moreover, by all these, you will get to feel mixed emotions you have never felt before. Thus, in order to prepare yourself for all the things that might arise, you have to have that unremitting discipline to deal with all of them.
As a leader, it is your duty and responsibility to discipline the people you manage. Of course, you cannot do that unless you are one disciplined citizen yourself.
Bringing Out the Disciplined Individual in You
Being disciplined is more than just controlling your temper or being on time during appointments. It’s more on being a whole lot better you…physically, mentally, socially, professionally, and spiritually. Here’s how to develop discipline:
1. Control your emotions. Order your mind to project affirmative thoughts especially when fear arises over the outcome of any project. Reverse negative thoughts immediately. Affirmative thoughts constitute controlled emotions.
2. Be patient. Impatience is a sign of immaturity. You should not dig up seeds just to see whether they are growing. Cultivate ideas and desires, execute them, and patiently await the fruits of your labor.
3. Work-out a systematic plan for each goal. Take one task at a time and complete it. You can only move effectively in one direction at one time. You can think only one thought at a time. Discipline yourself to the accomplishment of one task before moving on to the next.
4. Expect to pay for what you get. If you set a high goal, you have to pay a high price. You will have to work, take chances, make sacrifices, and endure setbacks. You will not be able to afford the luxury of laziness or the delights of frequent distraction. When trying to reach for a goal you set, remember that unless you are willing to pay the price, you are just wasting your time.
5. Be persistent. Be ready to lose…temporarily. The greatest leaders in the world became who they are right now because every time they fall and stumble along their journey, they kept standing up and continued moving forward. They kept picking themselves up, returning to the fight long after most men would have given up.
6. Stop making excuses! Even if it’s “The timing is just wrong,” or “I’m not really qualified,” only cowards say such things. They play the if-only game: “If only I had more money (or education)…” or “If only I have the beauty…” The alibis and excuses go on and on; and as long as you really are not committed 100% into something, the list will just not end.
To become a more disciplined person, you have to destroy self-limiting thoughts. As George Bernard Shaw once said, “I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, they make them.”