Becoming a disciplined leader takes hard work. You have to discipline (duh!) yourself and break yourself of the bad habits you’ve created.
You’re going to have to create new habits. The habits of a disciplined leader.
Are you ready?
The Habits Of A Disciplined Leader
1. They practice self-care
The first habit of a disciplined leader is the habit of self-care. This isn’t a call to be selfish. This is a call to make sure you and your body are in optimal condition.
Disciplined leaders know they have to do a couple of things to make sure they’re the best that they can be. To practice the habit of self-care, a leader must:
Renew his mind
Basically, self-care means you take care of your body and mind. You don’t do drugs, drink alcohol in excess, or over-indulge. You also make sure you’re inputting good things into your body and mind.
Find ways to take care of your body and mind and they will take care of you.
2. They respect their time and the times of others:
Disciplined leaders know their time is valuable. They also know the time of others is valuable and they respect this.
These leaders show up on time. They respect the time-limits others have. And they make wise decisions in how to spend their time.
If you’re late for meetings, stop being late. If you don’t plan out your day, begin to plan it out. Or if you find yourself working too much or too little, change it.
Your time is valuable. You need to make sure you’re making it a habit to examine how you’re spending your time throughout the day.
3. They master their thoughts:
Our thought lives can be one of the most damaging or they can be some of the most beneficial things we do. For me, I struggle with positive thoughts. I can easily see the downside without seeing the upside.
But disciplined leaders know their thoughts impact how their days, weeks, and years go. So, they take captive their thoughts. They place boundaries around the negative inputs they consume. They choose to see the positive side of a negative situation. And they won’t let others manipulate their thought-life.
Begin to reign in your thoughts. Take captive the thoughts that shout you’re not good enough or don’t have what it takes. Replace those thoughts with words of affirmation.
4. They focus on what is important:
Your life can be so scattered and piecemeal you don’t know what’s coming up next. Disciplined leaders do their best to avoid this.
They know they can’t be productive if they don’t have a focus on what’s to come. So they plan out their day, they know what needs to get done and what doesn’t, and they focus on the important activities.
Look at your calendar. See what needs to be done and what doesn’t need to be accomplished. Then tackle those important tasks.
5. They communicate clearly:
You don’t get things done by communicating ineffectively. The most disciplined leaders know they have to be clear and concise in the way they communicate.
When you don’t communicate clearly, you set yourself and your team up for failure. The most disciplined leaders know the key to effective leadership is to be clear in their communication.
They speak only what needs to be said and in a way that gets their point across.
Find ways to communicate clearly. Use your effective communication skills to lead well.
6. They are committed:
You don’t get to become a disciplined leader without being a committed leader. As you begin to commit and follow through with your promises, you build discipline.
This happens because sometimes you will commit to doing something and you really don’t want to do it. By following through and completing what you said you would do, you tell yourself you can do the things that aren’t pleasurable or wanted at the time (though it’s something you should do).
Be willing to commit and follow through with those commitments.
7. They reward themselves:
This may seem out of place on the list of the habits of disciplined leaders but it is a critical habit of those disciplined leaders. When you work towards becoming more disciplined, you will struggle to continue on the path. It’s not an easy or pleasant path all of the time. This is why those who are successfully disciplined know they have to reward themselves.
Whether it’s a bar of Ghirardelli chocolate, a date night with the wife, or enjoying an extra movie this week, disciplined leaders find a way to reward themselves as they work on their habits. This reinforces the fact that what they’re doing is good and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
As you work towards becoming more disciplined in your habits, don’t neglect the idea of rewarding yourself. You need to treat yourself to little bonuses along the way or else you’ll get burned out and discouraged.
These are just some of the habits of disciplined leaders. There are many more you’ll discover as you continue your leadership journey.