The Answer - Part 2
Penned by my good pal, Joshua Ryan. Thanks Josh, its a privilege to call you friend. Chriso.
Despite what you do for a living, I would suggest the sure way to advance your career is to better develop your ability to lead. While building technical skill is important, proficiency is but a sub-category of leadership. Regardless of what you do, you do it for or with other human beings; therefore, you are in the business of people. Understanding there exists as many definitions of leadership as there are people, I offer you the following: Leadership - the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that allow a person to inspire and control a group of people successfully.
So how does this pertain to discipline? Discipline, simply put, is
self-leadership: the sum of those qualities of intellect, human understanding, and moral character that allow a person to inspire and control THEMSELVES successfully. Thus, practicing discipline is practicing leadership and studying leadership is studying discipline. Is it by happenstance that all great leaders also display impeccable discipline? I don’t believe so. Great leaders are separated from good leaders by several factors, but chief among them is discipline.
When you criticize your boss, manager, or foreman, does the basis of
the complaint fall within the category of their ability to lead? Let us not point out the splinter in their eye and ignore the plank in our own. Before you complain about others, take charge, be disciplined, and lead yourself. How can we hold others accountable when we refuse to hold our own feet to the fire?
As I write this, I am keenly aware that I don’t know who you are, what challenges you face, or what circumstances you are in. But I do know, wherever you are in life, your situation is not novel and the only thing that you have control over is yourself. Take comfort in the fact that the human race has endured thus far, and with your help, it will continue to triumph.
I challenge you to be true and honest with yourself. Hold yourself to the standard you hold others. Push yourself. Deny yourself immediate gratification for a prize that is lasting. Prioritize your life, set your goals accordingly, implement a plan, and don’t look back. Self loathing and doubt are easy. Refuse to take the easy route. Long gone cannot be the days where men and women pealed themselves off the ground covered in dirt, sweat, and blood, and drove on by sheer force of will. I guarantee that whatever you want to accomplish, if you truly want it, by staying disciplined, you will achieve it. Discipline: the decision is yours and only you can make it.
Joshua Ryan, Captain USA Marine Corps.