This is a series of thoughts from "Competitive Leadership: 12 Principles for Success" by Brian Billick. Part IV deals with self discipline:
Accordingly, self-discipline is an indispensable asset for individuals who want to be effective leaders. Regardless of whatever skills you possess, you will never be able to reach your potential as a leader without this essential attribute.
The single most important component of self-confidence is self-control. Simply stated, self-control is your ability to exercise restraint over your impulses, emotions, and desires.
If your behavior is not guided by your priorities you’ll never be able to inspire confidence in your leadership abilities either in yourself or your followers. If you are not a disciplined person, you won’t be able to lead by example.
“The first person you lead is yourself.”
“Procrastination is the fear of success.”
-Develop a daily work-to-be-done schedule
-Break down the “big” jobs you find daunting into more manageable tasks.
-Keep a journal
-Take responsibility for directing your life. Take pride in knowing that you did your best.
“In the realm of ideas, everything depends on enthusiasm; in the real world, all rests on perseverance.”
-Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
...perseverance is one of the most positive habits you can have if you want to exhibit self-control as a leader. Perseverance involves a demonstrable work ethic characterized by a high level of industriousness and a desire to see the job through to its completion.
Another skill that every successful leader has is the ability to use time in a meaningful manner.
Poor habit: They fail to complete immediate tasks before agreeing to do more.
Maintain control over your work environment. Take whatever steps are necessary to build and sustain a healthy work environment. Establish an environment where you can concentrate so that you can use “real” time to complete tasks before their deadlines. Develop a detailed plan for handling particularly stressful circumstances.
There is not better example in my field than film study. It takes a great deal of experience and focus to effectively look at the extensive amount of video that coaches use to prepare for an opponent and not just end up watching endless hours of tape. A trained eye knows what to specifically look for and what to keep your focus on, rather than be distracted by many other components of a game that might otherwise grab your attention.
The players know the surest way to get me to pull a “blue-veiner” is for them to lose their focus during practice.
As a leader, you must recognize your limitations and either establish a plan for change or surround yourself with people who balance whatever deficiencies you have.