Manufacturing Excellence – Inspire, Lead and Succeed with DISCIPLINE!

“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.


Is it me or can it be that it is very difficult for people to establish certain disciplines? I believe everyone recognizes their importance but nobody wants to follow them. That’s why we have Codes of Honour, Value and Mission Statements hanging on the wall, instead of walking down the hall. 

One of the things that I have noticed when I work with companies is that many employees don’t know what the expectations from management are. They simply don’t know what’s expected of them and they don’t know the rules of the game.

They may have a job description but job descriptions will only make them task oriented instead of outcome oriented, and as a result, they may miss the big picture. Most employees are not held being held accountable for their behaviours and actions, and that’s why they do the bare minimum to survive the day. 

I am not a big fan of following rules, standards and regulations because it simply goes against my personality but we all know that we have to have rules in place if we want to achieve certain results. There are rules in sport games, there are rules in traffic and every country has their rules which are non-negotiable. True? Well, the same holds true for business. In the absence of certain rules and guidelines people will make up their own rules.

It is unfortunate that many people in leadership positions seem to associate the word discipline with disciplining people instead of having certain disciplines in place and teaching people to practice self-discipline. It is not about controlling people, it is about cultivating them. In some organizations I have the feeling that everyone does what they want, nobody does what they should, and all are in this together. This problem becomes clearly apparent when there is a lack of leadership.
Imagine a conductor with an orchestra. Individually the people may be very talented but if you don’t tell them what to play and conduct how they play, no common sound will emerge. That’s the same in a company. You have to provide direction and certain disciplines. 

If you treat your employees like little kids and don’t give them the respect they deserve, they will not go the extra mile for you.

If you establish a Code of Honour or an Organizational Values and Behaviour Statement, it is imperative that everyone plays by the same rules. It has to be simple, easy to understand and cannot be negotiated. The important part is that managers, supervisors, and team leaders are not exempt from following these rules. 

Leaders who believe in the power of discipline, establish and follow the rules of the game,  and inspire their followers by leading by example, will have a huge competitive advantage amongst their competition in this rapidly changing business environment. How disciplined are you? Is there room for improvement?

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