Discipline is the systematic management of your life. It requires sacrifice and focus. By applying discipline to every aspect of your life, you acknowledge that it takes responsibility to manage everything God has given you.
Throughout various seasons of my leadership, I have encountered several wake-up calls that made me realize the importance of discipline. From those experiences, I recognized that discipline and stewardship go hand in hand. Discipline brought order to my day-to-day routine, but I had to also be a good steward of the call to leadership that God placed on my life.
Once you discover what you are meant to do in life, it’s up to you to do something about it. Accomplishing your goals isn’t something that happens overnight. It takes dedication, application and commitment.
Transforming your leadership involves implementing the disciplines of self-awareness, self-management and self-preparedness.
1. Self-Awareness – The key to producing self-awareness is reflection. Many occurrences happen during the day that you overlook. However, when you take the time to reflect on everything, it can help you gain an appreciation of your gifts and abilities and how you use them throughout the day. It may also help you see areas for improvement. Self-awareness positions you to help other people.
As you recognize what your talents and abilities are, you can better lead others and elevate them to positions they may be more gifted in. So, to speak, you learn to thrive in your lane. Self-assessment tools such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator or StrengthsFinder can help you discover how you are wired. Ask people you trust to help you identify your giftings.
2. Self-Management – Learning to manage every aspect of your life – your health, time and intellect – will help you succeed in leadership. Self-management has to be a priority. Maintaining your health is vital in being a productive leader. Implementing an exercise routine will make a big difference in how you feel and perform each day.
Self-management also includes controlling your emotions. Get a grasp on what can trigger negative reactions and find ways to keep them in check. You will experience anger, disappointment and frustration, but you can’t allow your feelings to cloud your decisions. A leader’s actions and words have power. The character of a leader is contagious. Before you can lead others, you need to be disciplined in leading yourself.
3. Self-Preparedness – Whatever your role may be, always strive for excellence. I love the example of how athletes do everything they can to be the best at their sport. Even the second-string quarterbacks or subs on the bench work to perfect their abilities. They have to be prepared for any situation. This applies to leadership as well. You can’t settle for being “good enough.” Aim to be the best leader in your field.
Leaders never settle for mediocrity. Dynamic leaders are always looking for ways to improve. In an ever-evolving world, you must continue to find ways to grow and change. People and organizations that don’t adapt become irrelevant. Self-preparedness means you are always forward thinking.
No matter where you are on your leadership journey, these principles can help guide you into stewarding the calling that has been placed on your life. Leadership involves a holistic approach. Remember to end each day reflecting on how you implemented these aspects into your role and always look for ways to continue to grow so you don’t become stagnant.
For more information on how to develop the potential of your divine design, check out my book “9 Disciplines of Enduring Leadership.”
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