Disciplined Leadership: Creating the Culture of Discipline

This is the first in a series of blogs on the theme of ‘Disciplined Leadership.’

Creating the 'culture of discipline'


Ask yourself: Does your company have a ‘culture of discipline’? Specifically, do you and your teammates do the right thing when no one is looking? Do you and your team gravitate towards the harder right rather than the easier wrong?

Is self-discipline alive and well in your company or organization?

The answers to these questions speak volumes about your company’s culture. With a ‘culture of discipline’, you can begin to unleash the full potential of your company with decentralization and empowerment. The result will be higher revenues, higher margins, and lower costs. This potential starts at the top.

The opportunity is to develop a special culture with high performing team members who embrace self-discipline and teamwork. This is all about Level Five potential leaders walking the talk with company values 24 hours a day, seven days a week – on and off the job. Leaders live in a glass house whether they like it or not. The moment a leader crosses the line with a company value, every member of the team will know it and the stated company values will be undermined if not rendered meaningless.

Leaders also must have the moral courage to correct problems and indiscipline. Walk by a problem without taking action and you just set a new and lower standard that will be even harder to correct in the future. The word will spread like wildfire that the boss really doesn’t care about a specific rule or procedure. Consistency matters.

Take the time to check on the little things — see if the team is disciplined in:

  • how records are kept,
  • how journals and logs are filled out.

If these checks show you there is discipline across your organization, then use the examples of attention to detail to recognize your leaders who are responsible for their accuracy.  Reinforce their leadership. If not, teach your leaders why the little things are important, then go back and re-check to make sure the training sticks.

Leadership is hard work and requires integrity and persistence. A company or organization will take on the character and persona of its leader.

Is your team ready to go with a shared purpose and culture of discipline? How does your leadership team measure up?  Do you and your leaders walk the talk?

(Based on material originally published Jan. 2015)

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