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The 5 Disciplines of Self-leadership

By: Glenn Gutek
Posted: February 28, 2012, from the March 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

All leadership begins with self-leadership. Self-leadership employs intentional action in advance to ensure the right action happens when necessary.

Although some people are more naturally disciplined than others, for those who struggle with being disciplined, structures can be created that promote greater professional will. To help you get started, consider the following five disciplines of self-leadership.

1. Control time

The most basic expression of self-discipline is controlling your time in such a way that allows for the focus of your highest and best use of it. The effectiveness of leaders is limited by allowing others to set too much of the agenda. There is a wealth of material available to assist with time-management. However, there are some practices, such as predetermining blocks of time for your most important activities, that will promote a greater ability to do what needs to be done, when it needs to be done.

2. Fuel energy

One of the primary reasons for allowing unsolved problems to be swept under the carpet is a leader’s lack of energy. It is imperative to sustain the appropriate levels of energy to intercept entropy at its earliest stages.

The disciplines most commonly associated with fueling your energy often involve diet, exercise and sleep habits. Beyond these practices, build into your schedule opportunities to engage in things that put wind in your sails. What are the activities that energize you, and ignite your curiosity and passion? Consider engaging in reading, travel and networking opportunities.

3. Temper emotions