Are you leading with discipline? Does this type of leader describe you?
- You actually enjoy routine. In fact, if there is no structure, you create one. After all, routines promote efficiency, high productivity, and accuracy, right?
- Starting a day without a schedule or knowing exactly what to do could potentially leave one aimless. That’s what makes it so difficult for you to work with or for someone who doesn’t create structure, for themselves or others.
- Sure, there’s time for fun and breaks, you enjoy those too, as long as they fit into the overall scheme of things.
This outlook on your job and life can be attributed to your Discipline strength.
Your Barrier Labels
Discipline is definitely a good thing, especially when it’s self-imposed. Your bosses love that you get things done without supervision, your employees always know what’s expected and when, and your peers know they can count on you. Unfortunately, before people get to know you or your Strengths, you need to be aware of some of the labels people may tag you is a less than flattering light.
In an unsophisticated manner, Discipline can appear overbearing, mechanized, or unable to handle change. In short, a leader no one wants to come to or lean on.
A Sophisticated Leader
If you’ve ever been described using the barrier labels above, the good news is you have Discipline! That means, you have the ability to discipline yourself to become sophisticated; practicing the art of balance takes self-imposed structure, which you have plenty of.
The even better news? Once you have mastered your Discipline, you’ll be known and recognized as a great planner, highly productive and efficient, and extremely accurate. Nothing wrong with that is there?
As a sophisticated leader, your strategy for success is going to be knowing when things are too rigid, and when they aren’t rigid enough. In general, people don’t enjoy being micromanaged. However, they do like to know how to be successful, and some may even need a hint on how to get there.
By leveraging one or more of your other strengths, i.e. Relator, you will be able to adjust your style with the human factor in mind. Because some of your other strengths allow you to connect to your people, or see the bigger picture, you’ll be able to pull back on the Discipline in your leadership style when necessary, and create boundaries when and where they’re needed.
Leading those with Discipline
If you’re a leader with more “free slowing” strengths, like Adaptability, Futuristic, or Harmony, you may find there is some friction between you and your employee with Discipline. If they are constantly seeking structure, and you are unable to provide any, they may become frustrated.
Though they can create their own routine, there will be others on your team that need a little more guidance. If you, as a leader, don’t provide it, Discipline is going to notice. Chances are, there will be someone on the team under delivering, or delivering late, which affects the whole team. Even if it’s an indirect effect, Discipline will feel it more than most and quickly become dissatisfied with you as a leader, and their job as a whole.
Now, that doesn’t mean you need to try and be just like them. It just means you need to be aware and as consistent as possible. Make sure that everyone has deadlines, and they have the guidance and resources they need to produce. You’re already an apt leader, so no major adjustments should be necessary!
If you’re a leader with Discipline, how do you balance your need for structure with the strengths of others? Do you lead someone with Discipline? Do you find them to be reliable? Do they often ask you for deadlines, schedules etc.? How do you handle that on days you might find it “overbearing?”
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Alexsys “Lexy” Thompson is Managing Partner at Fokal Fusion
She helps building Strong Leaders through Strong People Strategy
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