In this article, we’ll examine 5 time-tested principles for leading yourself and developing the moral authority to lead others.
It begins with one word, self-discipline. Brian Tracy defines it as;
the ability to do what you have to do, when you have to do it, whether you feel like it or not.Brian Tracy
In his book, Developing The Leader Within You, John C. Maxwell writes; “When you do the things you ought to do when you ought to do them, the day will come when you will do the things you want to do when you want to do them.”
The same could have been true of that old man in our story. He had probably led himself so well that the King had no choice than to learn from him on the first encounter.
Self-discipline is such a hackneyed word today, too many people now believe they understand it. But if you’re honest, it is one of the many things you know but do too little of.
If you’re going to get anywhere on your leadership journey, you must first learn to lead yourself through self-discipline.
In my mentoring sessions, I try never to give people too much load on the get-go.
Like anything worth learning, the baby steps are more important than big leaps taken in shallow bouts of motivation.
You should take small steps one at a time.
Personal leadership is as much about waking up early as it is about leading a fortune 500 company. One is a private victory while the other is public.
It’s not in waking up early, it’s in becoming the kind of person who keep to self-made promises.
So this week, here are 5 ways to cultivate self-discipline and by extension, develop your leadership.
1. Get organized
Picture who you want to become. Know Why you what to become that? How will you step closer to that picture this week? What must you do?
Get clear in your head first and translate that clarity to your outside world by setting your priorities. Schedule those priorities in your calendar or to-do list. Organise your work space. Pursue one project at a time—focus is precious. Work with your body clock. Are you a morning person? Maybe, maybe not. Focus on results not activities.
2. Embrace personal responsibility
Do not leave for someone else what you should rather do. Take responsibility for your actions and inaction too.
3. Accept accountability
Don’t be afraid to be answerable to someone. Plato said, “the unexamined life is not worth living”. Set up clear metrics and accountability structures that keep you in check.
4. Develop personal integrity
Let your words be in sync with your deeds. Practice what you preach. Do what you say you will do. Be honest with yourself and other people. Put the common good before personal gain every time.
5. Pay now play later
Curtail instant gratification. Never leave for tomorrow what you can do today. The price is always greater when delayed. Pay it now.
Long before you influence people, you will first have to influence yourself. You will only lead others where you have led yourself. One profound way to lead yourself is to practice self-discipline, daily. In the end, the rewards will justify your effort.
Have a great week!
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