Self-disciplined leaders motivate themselves to meet their goals. They do not need anyone’s outside help to get done what needs to get done. Of course they seek help if they don’t know ‘how’ to do something. In most cases they are self-learners and don’t wait to be told about their skill gaps. They know what they are. In the main though they do what they said they would do, whether they said it to themselves or someone else, and they do it even when they don’t feel like it. To get a better understanding of how leaders positively act with self-discipline let’s look at some examples.
1. Wake Up on Time – Leaders have no difficulty in waking up on time and focusing on their priorities. They are eager to get to work, get properly dressed, fed, exercised and out the door on time. Strong leaders also spend time in meditation first thing in the morning. They know that it’s simply self-discipline that gets them going each day.
2. Act Respectfully Toward Others – Everyone has impressions about the people they meet during the day. People react either emotionally or rationally to a person who cuts them off while driving to their destination; or when an individual is not performing to the best of his/her ability. With good self-discipline leaders will be respectful toward everyone regardless of their feelings, hunger, or mood at the time.
3. Eat Healthily – There are so many things out there to eat that aren’t good for us. A person who chooses to eat healthily 80 to 90 percent of the time is demonstrating excellent self-discipline. Leaders learn to say ‘no’ today to avoid short-term pleasure in exchange for a healthier tomorrow.
4. Daily Exercise – Some people really do love exercise and get a true "high" off it. But most of us don’t. Most often leaders go ahead and do their exercise each day because they are committed to their goals of keeping fit. They know that keeping fit allows them to have the energy they need to serve others.
5. Meet Deadlines – Leaders are self-starters. They are self-disciplined enough to make and meet deadlines without outside influence. They know what others expect of them and meet their requirements. If they are unable to do so they say so. For them self-discipline and strong self-management techniques go hand in hand.
6. Follow Through – A self-disciplined leader tends to do what they say they’ll do. They have follow-through. If they say they’ll get it done on Friday, they will do what they can to get it done on Friday without anyone reminding them.
7. Create Good Habits – A self-disciplined leader knows that the best way to stick to any goal is to create good habits surrounding that goal. For example, a leader who has a personal goal to get up an hour earlier to go to the gym knows that it’s going to be only willpower the first month, then after that, a habit will be created. Ask any leader and he will tell you that changing behaviours is not easy but to take on a new habit means changing behaviours. Leaders practice new behaviours until they become second nature to them. They also know that persistence is necessary because it takes about three weeks, and sometimes longer, of consistent action to change a habit.
In conclusion it doesn't mean that a self-discipline leader never has fun. The ability to let go of a weakness and do what is right is the best example of self-discipline. We all have the potential to become a leader in whatever walk of life we have. An essential ingredient to living a successful life in business, at work or in life, is the ability to control what you can control using sound self-discipline practices.