One of the first things I encourage others to reflect on in their leadership journey is the ability to lead themselves first.
This flows out of the belief that the best leaders lead by example. The expectations a leader places on others should be reflected in the expectations a leader has of him or herself. Leaders lead themselves first. The example produced by this type of self-leadership gives a leader credibility and influence with those around him or her.
One of the areas where self-leadership becomes evident is in the area of discipline. Napoleon Hill said, “It’s not what you are going to do, but it’s what you are doing now that counts.” Many unsuccessful people have what I call “someday sickness” because they could do some things to bring value to their lives right now. But they put them off and say they’ll do them someday. Their motto is “one of these days.” But as the old English proverb says, “One of these days means none of these days.”
For me, discipline is closely tied to consistency. Our self-leadership finds its power through the efforts, habits, and practices we’re able to perform on a daily basis. One day at a time. But also, many days in a row over a period of time. Discipline isn’t a once in a lifetime event. It’s the consistency of small steps in the same direction that produces something of great value later in the future.
Think about it this way. If you collected one quote a day, or wrote one page a day, or read one chapter a day, or did one workout a day, or wrote one thank you note a day. That would make for a fairly productive day.
Yet at the end of one year, if you did those things every day…
You’d have a collection of 365 quotes.
You’d have written 365 pages (we call that a book).
You’d have read 365 chapters (That’s at least 36 books).
You’d have worked out for 365 days (think about your physical fitness level).
You’d have personally thanked 365 people.
If you and I did something consistently like that (even one of those) for a year, people would look at what we accomplished and consider us to be disciplined people.
In a nutshell: Discipline = daily.
What do you think?
What is keeping you and I from a life of consistency?