Discipline & Leadership

by Brad Modrich

The difference between a good and great leader comes down to discipline. When you look at all successful people and try to find the one common trait they share, you will quickly realize that their self-discipline and the standard of how they operate defines their success. Leaders will use self-discipline to sharpen their willpower and decision-making skills to command respect from others and lead by example to achieve their goals regardless of their feelings. 

Self-discipline is simply the ability to do the things that you know you MUST do consistently, even when you do not feel like doing them. 

Think about it; most of us are the same. One day you can be super motivated, and the next day you don’t feel like doing anything at all. Leaders who have developed the “self-discipline muscle” can push themselves through any distractions, negative thoughts, self-doubts, or fears, but most importantly, they can get the job done. No excuses!  

Leaders are required to juggle responsibilities. These responsibilities can include managing others, delegating work, project management, engaging in solving daily problems. With competing priorities, it can be difficult for Leaders to find an unbroken block of time to focus their attention on any given task. Self-discipline is the ability to resist impulses, maintain focus and see projects through to completion. Leaders who are high on self-discipline are not easily distracted. They can maintain complete concentration despite any challenges that are put in front of them. 

Self-discipline at work allows leaders to give their full attention to the task at hand. Research has shown that leaders with a strong sense of self-control and persistence are more likely to be diligent and engaged in their work. In short, they make things happen. 

Most leaders think of discipline as a negative. In reality, discipline is what you do for someone, not to someone. Discipline allows you to set high standards for what is expected and will hold people accountable for the choices they decide to make every day. As Former US Navy Seal Jocko Willink says, “Discipline Equals Freedom.” 

At the end of the day, your discipline as a leader has such a major ripple effect on how you can effectively manage your team and accomplish. Discipline is the foundation of what standards you represent. You must be willing to do the things that others can’t or won’t. 

Weak disciplines will give you weak leadership. Strong disciplines will give you strong leaders. It is that simple. 

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