Often times we ignore it. But we really need it on our way towards Leadership Development. It’s good to be dedicated and committed to work. It’s also awesome to be determined in life. But the real deal is the D-word. Call it Discipline. We need doses of this word as part of our career development. Discipline takes us up. Discipline really takes us there. Indiscipline kicks us out. Indiscipline will keep us down. In search of this word, prospective leaders are excited of the opportunities the word presents. The D-word is inspired by another beautiful word: disciple. Yes! Like a follower on a mission. Of course. Like Mathew, Mark, Luke, John and Peter following Jesus Christ. With this picture painted in your mind’s eye, what do you understand by the word: discipline? You need to follow some principles but on a mission, right? It could be life’s principle. How about principles of work? I am not talking about the renowned Richard Templar’s rules of work (a very good employee handbook).

“You have to kill yourself to have a new life. It calls for discipline.”

Discipline. In its raw sense involves systematic instructions which are logic and intended to develop an individual. It’s sad that the beautiful phrase “to discipline” sometimes carries a seriously negative undertone. Ensuring that the right thing is done is carried out through some regulations often termed as punishment if not sanctions. Too bad. So you often hear statements like, I’ll discipline you or you have to be disciplined.

I personally like the self-explanatory version of discipline. This summarizes the D-word as self-control. This gives you that opportunity to regulate your behaviours and shape your attitudes, by yourself. A bird whispered that gold is a disciplined stone which is why it comes out expensive and shining. It allows itself to go through the mill, the frustrations and the happenings of stress.

Be guided here. Discipline is not a sequence of actions that will spontaneously lead to our goals. Rather, a disciplined individual is one that has set a goal for himself or herself and has subsequently agreed with himself to achieve that goal at his or her own cost. Better still, at the expense of his or her individuality and or personality.

But smile at this one. Discipline is actually doing what you don’t like doing but you have to keep doing because doing it makes you better by day. I like this. I really like this. I mean you need to have a big rod to always check yourself to keep yourself in line on the main things that will make you successful. So you need to do the right things at the right time for the right reasons.

To be a leader, you need to learn to do the difficult things that will shape you mentally, physically and spiritually. Setting targets and achieving those targets calls for discipline. To understand the word discipline, you need to guide your thoughts and deeds. As an employee

on a mission to the top, you have personal responsibilities to be disciplined. You don’t have to be in the army. Be daring to learn, assimilate corporate values and live more on the D- word.

Trainees have to deliver and trainers must impact and impart with timelines without excuses. Everyone must be in line and must adhere to all the rules that guide a team. Discipline should come from within and it blooms better that way. You need to have that ability to act, behave, deliver and work in a controlled and orderly manner. This should not however shelve innovation.

On my career journey I gathered one revelation. Attitude drives everything at the workplace. Today, our corporate world experiences and suffers high levels of indiscipline and uncountable reports of gross misconducts and defiance. Associates disregard directions and policies to usurp authorities.

I am talking about indiscipline at the workplace. You need to work towards becoming self- disciplined. Disciplined people enjoy abundance of freedom. Don’t misconstrue this argument. Just be disciplined. You don’t have to be a disciplinarian to be disciplined. Let’s learn to learn that the D-word is a discipline that demands obedience guided by internal reflection of how you manage your matters and issues: time, relationships, work, targets, personal development and life in general.

A self-disciplined person grooms disciplined teams. If you don’t learn to be disciplined, you have to be disciplined to learn. Discipline is a responsibility. Why do you think workplaces always have a committee for the D-word? Spare it and spoil the team, if not the system. In your minds and in your hearts, be disciplined and this is what makes the Leader clip all together. It’s your individual responsibility to stay disciplined at all times. You have to kill yourself to have a new life. It calls for discipline. The key lessons from the D-word are straightforward. Do as you have to do. Do as expected. Do the right thing. Do it at the right time. Do it for the right reasons.

For this is Leadership!

Author: Richard Kwarteng Ahenkorah

Principal Trainer, Eagle Knowledge Institute || Author: Your Journey To The Top

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