It would be easy to miss that morning exercise but I aways feel better for it, and pat myself on the back for passing the first test of the day.
How disciplined are you and your business?
Moving on from my rather tough words about health last week, I was thinking this week about the importance of discipline in business.
I have only appreciated later in life the values I learned through a tough boarding school regime, but I now realise that one of the keys to success is having inner-discipline rather than externally imposed discipline!
As I meet with chief executives in all sorts of industries I am always interested to see how disciplined a business looks. Generally, if the office, factory or warehouse look well organised the business is disciplined in the key ways:
- The strategic plan is a working document and is the active guiding plan for managers.
- The team does have KPIs that fit within the auspices of the strategic plan and can be and are measured.
- Team members know what they need to do each day.
- Performance reviews are conducted on a regular basis and people are sure of their roles, responsibilities and rewards.
- The branding of the business is consistent across all facets of the business; the message is clear not only to customers but to the internal team.
- The purpose of the company is clear to all and it is clear to customers that the business is on purpose.
- The work environment reflects the discipline of the business. I have a fellow board member whose first port of call in a factory is the toilet. He says these are an indication of the concern a business has for its people!
- The leader/s of the business exude an inner discipline: they do as they say rather than do what I say; they set the example through their personal disciplines – being on time, being reliable, being consistent.
- In-trays in this business are small because people have the discipline to do the difficult things first, not keep putting them at the bottom of the pile!
Each morning, as the days get colder and winter descends, I have to test my own personal discipline. The easy decision is not to exercise, not to do that walk/run. Sometimes I cave in to the easy option but I always feel best and perform best after I have exercised. It’s a way I can pat myself on the back every day – simply for passing that first test for the day!
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