Want to lead others? Learn how to lead yourself first.
I recently read one of John C. Maxwell's books, Leadership 101. The first trait of leaders he discusses is self-discipline.
No matter what you do, you will not achieve AND sustain success without it.
You can be a naturally gifted leader but will fail to actualize your full potential without applying self-discipline.
The ability to lead is a collection of skills that can be learned and improved. Discipline is one of those skills.
Here are 3 ways to develop the trait that separates good leaders from the great:
#1) Practice delayed gratification
We are faced with choices daily. With those choices come tradeoffs.
Grow and improve myself professionally or watch Netflix?
Go train or take another day off?
Cook a healthy meal or go get fast food?
The current, easier choice feels good momentarily but hurts you down the road. The current, challenging route will benefit the future version of you.
#2) Cut the excuses
Often when you make an excuse, it's not valid... you’re avoiding something. Placing blame outside of yourself and putting false limitations on your potential holds you back. Eliminate excuses and start taking responsibility.
#3) Hold yourself to a high standard
You need to call yourself out - often. No one would know if you took the morning off from training. But would that be in line with the future vision of who you want to be? Learn to empower yourself to get up and do things when you don't "feel " like it.
Being a leader often requires doing mundane, unsexy things that no one in their right mind gets massively excited about. That's discipline.
Discipline is a muscle that needs to be trained day in and day out.
Start to develop a lifestyle of discipline. Self-identify as a disciplined person.