Business Coaching for The Professional (8 of 17) Self-Discipline

Introduction to the Series

Business fundamentals have been the same since the beginning of commerce. The true fundamentals are not anything you do; as some type of technique, although 'doing' is in the nature of a professional. The real fundamentals are who you are, and who you become.

Since I'm a big fan of series, I want to introduce you to 17 principles in developing unshakable character. These principles will contribute to great professional success.

The Greatest Benefit

In order to receive the greatest benefit from this series: after being introduced to the character or behavioral principles, think on paper of how you can apply it in your current environment.

Don't fall into the trap of 'I already do that.' evaluate how the principle can be used more in your life. The focus is 100% saturation of each principle before moving on. Aim to have congruence of character.

This is the Seventh Personal Principle:

The attribute that keeps the momentum moving forward is self-discipline. As emerging leaders don't allow any excuses to inch themselves in your mind. Stay in control.

All that is conversed about in these 17 principles need to be ongoing disciplines in your life. Unfortunately success is created by the creation of habits or by new disciplines, so reading about it will only help you if you put the simple principle to work.

Self-discipline is self-explanatory; you may think of discipline as something that keeps you on the go, doing it, doing it, doing it. This is not what I am going to write about here.

It takes discipline to maintain a graceful presence in business. Choose to extend yourself in meaningful ways.

Consider the following disciplines:
  • Exercise
  • Get the appropriate amount of rest
  • Eat nutritious foods
  • Lead by example
  • Create value
  • Blog
  • Study
  • Do the work of a CEO (Strategic work vs. Tactical work)
  • Connect with someone from your support system
  • Trust yourself
  • Be courageous
  • Love
  • Praise Someone
  • Invest yourself in your people
  • Send a meaningful note to a customer
  • Give thanks
  • Be happy
  • Be humble
  • Say: thank you
  • Apologize
"Sure I am a religious man who is also passionate about conserving the environment. But I am also a CEO, with all the bad habits and attitudes that are natural to the species. . . . I am still naturally self-interested, overconfident, full of pride, and eager to control a meeting as any CEO in America. Every day, I struggle with my ego."

- Tom Chappell
Managing Upside Down

"The first and best victory is to conquer self."

Greek Philosopher

"You can never conquer the mountain. You can only conquer yourself."

- Jim Whittaker

"Talent without discipline is like an octopus on roller skates. There's plenty of movement, but you never know if it's going to be forward, backwards, or sideways."

-H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 

"It is not enough to have great qualities; We should also have the management of them."

- La Rochefoucauld

"A man without decision of character can never be said to belong to himself . . .. He belongs to whatever can make captive of him."

-John Foster

"Control is not leadership; management is not leadership; leadership is leadership is leadership. If you seek to lead, invest at least 50% of your time leading yourself—your own purpose, ethics, principles, motivation, conduct. Invest at least 20% leading those with authority over you and 15% leading your peers. If you don't understand that you work for your mislabeled 'subordinates,' then you know nothing of leadership. You know only tyranny."

-Dee Hock
Founder and CEO Emeritus
VISA International

"It is necessary to try to surpass one's self always: this occupation ought to last as long as life."

-Queen Christina of Sweden

"Beware of endeavoring to become a great man in a hurry. One such attempt in ten thousand may succeed. These are fearful odds."

-Benjamin Disraeli

"Let me . . . ; remind you that it is only by working with an energy which is almost superhuman and which looks to uninterested spectators like insanity that we can accomplish anything worth the achievement. Work is the keystone of a perfect life. Work and trust in God."

-Woodrow Wilson

"We are what we repeatedly do, excellence then is not an act, but a habit."


"Men are anxious to improve their circumstances, but are unwilling to improve themselves; they therefore remain bound. The man who does not shrink from self-crucifixion can never fail to accomplish the object upon which his heart is set. This is true of earthly as of heavenly things. Even the man whose object is to acquire wealth must be prepared to make great personal sacrifices before he can accomplish his object; and how much more so he who would realize a strong and well-poised life."

- James Allen

"Nothing is more harmful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army superiority over another."

-George Washington

"Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It's a state of mind-you could call it character in action."

-Vince Lombardi

"Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself-and be lenient to everybody else."

-Henry Ward Beecher

"Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."

- Mark Twain

"If we don't discipline ourselves, the world will do it for us."

-William Feather

"Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself is true power."

-Lao Tzu

"Never suffer your courage to exert itself in fierceness, your resolution in obstinacy, your wisdom in cunning, nor your patience in sullenness and despair. "

-Charles Palmer

"This quality of self-denial in pursuit of a longer-term goal and, indeed, the willpower to maintain the denial, is excellent training for the boardroom."

-John Viney Drive

"Rule your mind or it will rule you."


"Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be, since you cannot make yourself as you wish to be."

-Thomas á Kempis

"Leaders aren't born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that's the price we'll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal."

-Vince Lombardi

"Leaders who can stay optimistic and upbeat, even under intense pressure, radiate the positive feelings that create resonance. By staying in control of their feelings and impulses, they craft an environment of trust, comforts and fairness. And that self-management has a trickle down effect from the leader.

-Daniel Goleman,
Primal Leadership

"Success is a matter of understanding and religiously practicing specific, simple habits that always lead to success."

-Robert J. Ringer

"It was high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, 'always do what you are afraid to do.'"

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"A successful career will no longer be about promotion. It will be about mastery."

-Michael Hammer

"The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It's your mind you have to convince."

-Vince Lombardi

"The individual who wants to reach the top in business must appreciate the might and force of habit. He must be quick to break those habits that can break him—and hasten to adopt those practices that will become the habits that help him achieve the success he desires."

-J. Paul Getty

"Self-discipline is a form of freedom. Freedom from laziness and lethargy, freedom from the expectations and demands of others, freedom from weakness and fear—and doubt. Self-discipline allows a pitcher to feel his individuality, his inner strength, his talent. He is master of, rather than a slave to, his thoughts and emotions."

-H.A. Dorfman

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