Self-Discipline In A Leader

Self-Discipline: So important in a Leader


As we continue on the journey of learning the mindset of a leader, I have found that ALL great leaders have mastered the art of self-discipline in their lives. Without it, a leader cannot be successful!

In the book. “The Way of the Leader”author Donald G. Krause, talks about the importance of self-discipline in the life of a leader. Here are some excerpts to stimulate your thinking on this important subject and hopefully inspire you to ACTION:


  • A leader tends to live by a set of rules or principles that he determines are appropriate for him and acceptable to his constituents (followers or team). A leader does not need external motivation to ensure performance.  
  • Self-discipline is the basic ingredient of self-control and the foundation of self-respect. If an executive lacks self-discipline, self-control, or self-respect, even if he is the person in charge he will not, in fact, be the leader.
  • Self-discipline means; at the most personal level, means that you do not attempt to deceive yourself. Always be careful what you think and do, but be particularly careful when you believe you are alone.Practice self-restraint in your private life. Remember a person’s opinion of himself eventually shows in his face and is reflected in his outward behavior. A true leader exercises self-discipline through controlling his thoughts and action even when he believes that no one else can see him.
  • An effective leader exhibits a poised, self-assured, direct, and controlled demeanor under all circumstances. A controlled manner bestows powerful competitive advantages.
  • Above all, an effective leader is dignified without being arrogant. Arrogance comes from ignorance and lack of self-confidence. When a person displays arrogance he is confirming that he knows very little about true dignity and more importantly, very little about true leadership.
  • Few people will admit their own failures and ever fewer will acknowledge that the true cause of failure lies within themselves. But a person who practices self-discipline and continuously develops his level of skill seldom fails in the long run. 
  • An effective leader worries about his own shortcomings and seeks improvement from within. When a person demands excellence from others, but never corrects problems within himself, he cannot lead.
  • Study widely; inquire sincerely; adhere steadfastly to your principles; consider carefully your experiences, what works and what does not work for you. It is in doing these things that you will discover the meaning of excellence. Moreover, find the best leaders and emulate their methods. In this way, you will also discover the meaning of leadership.
  • Excellence in leadership or anything else is not something remote or difficult to find. We need only practice self-discipline, and it (excellence) will begin to appear in our lives!

The Continuous Improvement Formula

Japanese symbol for Kaizen. "Literally means improve for the better" (Loosely translated: continuous improvement)

NOTE FROM COACH O: My friend from Twitter, Coach Bob Starkey, has really renewed my interest in ALL THINGS BRIAN TRACY! Brian is a great thought leader & has helped my personal growth in amazing ways!

As coaches/leaders who want to grow, we are always striving for continuous improvement. I found the following in his archives & immediately sparked some new thinking in me and I share with you! Enjoy…


The Continuous Improvement Formula

By: Brian Tracy

  • Put Your Career on the Fast Track

There are many things you can do to put your career onto the fast track. You can set clear, specific goals for each area of your life and then make plans to accomplish them. You can plan your work and work your plan.

  • Ask For Greater Responsibility

You can accept 100% responsibility for everything you are and everything you become. You can refuse to make excuses or to blame others. You can tell your boss that you want greater responsibilities and then when you get them, put your whole heart into doing an excellent job.

  • Utilize Your Inborn Talents

In the parable of the talents in the New Testament, Jesus says, “Oh good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over small things. I will make you master over large things.”

If you too will carry out every assignment to the very best of your ability, you will be given larger and more important things to do and you’ll be paid more as a result.

  • Dedicate Yourself to Continuous Improvement

The key to long term success is for you to dedicate yourself to continuous improvement. If you become one tenth of one percent more productive each day, that amounts to 1/1000th improvement per working day. Is that possible? Of course it is!

  • Improve A Little At A Time

If you become one tenth of one percent more productive each day, that amounts to one half of one percent more productive each week. One half of one percent more productive each week amounts to two percent more productive each month and 26% more productive each year.

The cumulative effect if becoming a tiny bit better at your field and more productive amounts to a tremendous increase in your value and your output over time.

  • How to Double Your Productivity

Twenty-six percent more productive each year, with compounding, amounts to doubling your overall productivity and performance every 2.7 years. If you become 26% more productive each year, with compounding, times 10 years, you will be 1004% more productive over the next decade. That is an increase of ten times over ten years.

  • The Reason For All Great Successes

This is called the Law of Accumulation, or the Principle of Incremental Improvement. It is the primary reason for all great success stories. By the yard, it’s hard. But inch by inch, anything’s a cinch!

  • Become A 1000% Person

Make a decision, right now, to be a 1000% person. Commit yourself to continuous personal and professional development. Read, listen to audio programs and take additional courses. This process will completely transform your life.

  • Action Exercises

Here are two things you can do to put these ideas into action immediately.

First, make a plan to become a little bit better every single day. Learn and apply one new idea each day to help you to become more productive and effective at your work. The incremental affect will amaze you.

Second, be patient. Don’t expect overnight changes or instant results. Remember the story of the tortoise and the hare. Become a little bit better each day and your future will take care of itself.


Since Brian already gave us action exercises, I won’t post my usual “3 Pointers”… BUT …



I’m your partner in the pursuit of excellence!

Quotes That Mirror My Thoughts On…


Dr. AR Bernard, pastor, CEO, mentor

“What was excellence at one level is mediocrity at the next.” ~Dr. AR Bernard

“The power of excellence is overwhelming. It is always in demand and nobody cares about its color.” ~Daniel James

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” ~Vince Lombardi

“Mediocrity will always try to drag excellence down to its level. Don’t trade your superiority for their inferiority.” ~Anonymous

“Find something that you’re really interested in doing in your life. Pursue it, set goals, and commit yourself to excellence. Do the best you can.” ~Chris Evert

“Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.” ~Ralph Marston

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” ~Pat Riley

“Excellence is the unlimited ability to improve the quality of what you have to offer.” ~Rick Pitino

“Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” ~Booker T. Washington

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” ~Michael J. Fox

Catching People Doing Things Right

The Heart of A Leader, By Ken Blanchard

** Note from Coach O: I was doing some spring cleaning and found a book I read some time ago: “The Heart of A Leader”, by Ken Blanchard. I have been taught by my pastor/mentor, Dr. AR Bernard, that we should occasionally revisit a previously read book or article because: we SHOULD be at a different place in our leadership & will see things we did not see before. Well, it is TRUE!

I will be sharing things from this quick read – but robust book on the “Heart of A Leader”. It’s a collection of Mr. Blanchard’s “favorite sayings” (as he put it) I hope you read something that helps you and inspires you to be a better leader!


“The key to developing people is to catch them doing something right”

~ Ken Blanchard & Spencer Johnson – One Minute Manager

Catching people doing things right is a powerful management concept. Unfortunately, most leaders have a genius for catching people doing things wrong. I always recommend that managers (coaches) wander around their organization catching people doing things right.

But I remind them, that effective praising must be specific. Just walking around and saying “thanks for everything” is meaningless. If you say, “Great Job” to a poor performer and “Great Job” to a good performer you sound ridiculous to the poor performer and “demotivate” the good performer.

Catching people doing things right provides satisfaction and motivates good performance. But remember, give praise immediately, make it specific, and finally, encourage people to keep up the good work. This principle can also help you shine at home. It’s a marvelous way to interact and affirm the people in your life.

Coach O’s “3 Pointers”: 3 Things For Us To Consider:

1. What are you consistently known for? Catching people doing things right…or wrong?
2. When we DO give praise, is it immediate or three days later? Is it specific?
3. Do we praise people in our family as passionately, and as OFTEN as we do our players and coaches? (Hmmm)

(Think on these things and resolve to Improve TONIGHT!) I know I have things to work on! 🙂

I’m your partner in the pursuit of excellence!

Excellence Before Ego

Jesus Shuttlesworth

Ray Allen, Boston Celtics

 The below post comes from a man I have come to admire & study over the past year! It’s highlights a lesson we can all learn: “excellence before ego!”


Excellence Before Ego

FEB 12, 2011

Ray Allen had a night to remember when he broke the NBA Career 3-Point Field Goal record formerly held by Reggie Miller. As I said to Ray when he got to the bench, “all those hours of work do pay off!” His just reward is to go down in NBA history.

Many have already asked me about Ray and his famous shooting workouts, but this is not the message that should be gleaned from his accomplishment. The most important message, and the lesson I got from the night, was how Ray puts “Excellence over Ego.” He is simply more about perfecting his role and his craft so that he can help the team win Championships than he is about satisfying a personal ego.

Does he have an ego? Yes! All greats in any line of work have egos, but Ray knows how to discipline his ego. He has the quiet confidence of knowing he has put the time in the gym preparing his game, the time in the weight room preparing his body, the time on the track preparing his cardio, and finally the discipline to fuel his body the proper way. This is what has allowed him to build up his shooting stamina to be able to shoot big shots in big late-game situations. His ego is more about a strong confidence that he is ready, rather than a false bravado hoping that the opponent is afraid of him!

What I have learned from Ray Allen is that you can be a star and still carry yourself with class. You can be one of the best ever and still not have to “talk a good game.” You can have an ego and still not be cocky. And you can strive for excellence every day knowing that it will lead you to great heights…but do it in a professional manner!

You can’t get much higher than being the All Time Leader in a league full of the best in the world! Excellence over ego……..a lesson we all should learn. Thanks, Ray!

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Quotes That Mirror My Thoughts on…


"Joe Pa"

Joe Paterno, Penn State football head coach

“Besides pride, loyalty, discipline, heart and mind, confidence is the key to all the locks.”

~ Joe Paterno

“Confidence can get you where you want to go, and getting there is a daily process. It’s so much easier when you feel good about yourself, your abilities and talents.”

~ Donald Trump

“A clear vision, backed by definite plans, gives you a tremendous feeling of confidence and personal power.”

~ Brian Tracy

“Its lack of faith that makes people afraid of meeting challenges, and I believe in myself.”

~ Muhammad Ali

“Confidence is contagious. So is lack of confidence.”

~ Vincent T Lombardi

“Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.”

~ Norman Vincent Peale

“Accept yourself as you are. Otherwise you will never see opportunity. You will not feel free to move toward it; you will feel you are not deserving.”

~ Maxwell Maltz

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.”

~ Eleanor Roosevelt

“You are far more powerful than you will ever realize. Choose always to make positive use of that power.”

~ Ralph Marston

“With supreme confidence, determination & disregard for obstacles & other people’s criticisms carry out your plan for success.”

~Paul J. Meyer

11 Ways To Go From Average To Exceptional (via Brian Dodd On Leadership)

This is a great post from Brian Dodd, who has a fantastic blog! Enjoy the read, but also grab something to apply to YOUR life!

11 Ways To Go From Average To Exceptional Do you feel average?  Is your organization just treading water?  On a personal level, do you feel like you are “stuck in the mud”?  We have all been there. In the October 11th edition of The Sporting News, Stan McNeal takes a look at four MLB play-off teams who were not expected to be there – the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, San Francisco Giants, and Texas Rangers. As leaders looking to improve our performance, we can apply the following key … Read More

via Brian Dodd On Leadership

Preparation ALWAYS Precedes Success!

Drew Brees, in the gym "preparing to be great"

“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” ~ Confucius


Confidence comes from hours and days and weeks and years of constant work and dedication. ~ Roger Staubach

Spectacular achievement is always preceded by unspectacular preparation. ~ Robert Schuller


You hit home runs not by chance but by preparation. ~ Roger Maris