Are You the Same Disciplined Leader You Were 5 Years Ago?


Being a disciplined leader is absolutely essential to success. Strong self-discipline breeds self-confidence–and confidence is key to running a business. Even more than that, having a strong set of disciplines enables you to be your best possible self … and the best possible leader. It’s all about determining what’s most important to you, and dedicating yourself practicing those disciplines. Here’s a few of mine:

Being a disciplined leader is absolutely essential to success. Whether my disciplines have changed in the last five years, I don’t know. I think you have to be an ever evolving leader who’s always learning and always growing. So most likely my disciplines have changed a little.

What’s most important though is that you do have some really strong disciplines that you keep to. Some of mine are …

  1. You need to stay healthy. If you really want to not enjoy life, and not enjoy your business, just get your body physically unhealthy. Life becomes miserable. Those of you who are unhealthy, you know it because you’re hurt or in pain. So I work out five days a week. Plus, it’s just a great stress reliever. Endorphins kick in, you listen to some Eminem and some Jay-Z (that’s right, I do) and it makes you feel better.
  1. Family time. Every night when I get home I check out. I shut my phone off and I just spend time with my kids. I ask them, literally, I look them in eyes every single night that I’m home and I say, “Tell me about your day. Tell me about recess, tell me about math, tell me about engineering. Tell me about the things that you did and you created.” And that is so important–that you stay in tune with what they’re doing in their lives.

Some of the things in business that are important for disciplines:

  1. Read consistently. I’m a voracious reader. Some people want formal programs to go learn, but I actually think you learn more just by reading books as a group with your executive team or teams that you’re a part of. You can learn so much from a $12 book … it’s crazy! And if you need a list of books recommended, just twitter me sometime! @MattRissell. I’ll respond and give you some book recommendations that I’ve fallen in love with. And I don’t just recommend ANY book. Seriously. They have to have changed my life for me to recommend a book.

And, finally, this is so important:

  1. Building relationships with your team. I don’t just sit in my office, close the door, and try to protect myself from the world. People who do that, it’s not because they’re too busy or too important or so smart, it’s usually because they’re afraid. If you’ve got a boss like that, it’s typically because they’re scared. Build relationships with your team, get out of your office, walk around, sit next to people, chat with them and find out what they’re doing. Both what they’re working on and what’s going on in their personal life. It’s so important.

Those are just a few of the disciplines I keep. How disciplined I was and how good I was at executing those disciplines five years ago is substantially different than what I do now, and it’s all due to practice, so start your disciplines and keep with them!