I recall listening in mid-December to the memorial words of Cape Town, South Africa’s emeritus Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as he eulogized Nelson Mandela. He spoke of the incredible discipline epitomized by Nelson Mandela in his life, and the need for all people to capture that same discipline in their lives. Archbishop Tutu’s focus was on the discipline required to seek peace and reconciliation in the face of hate, bigotry and injustice, but I believe that same discipline is a core attribute that can and should be embraced in business practices and everyday life.
Businesses are successful, in no small measure, when they are consistently engaged in performing to the needs of their customers, providing products and services in a “disciplined” way (standardized processes and business practices that are metrics-based, accountable and predictable) that brings value in a reliable manner – meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Whether your business is small or large and regardless of the customers it serves, it cannot be successful if the needs of the clients are not being met consistently. Meeting those needs requires discipline and commitment. From time management to literally hundreds of individual behaviors that comprise the work product of a business, owners, managers and all employees must be strategic, engaged and collaborative, to act in a disciplined manner that supports customer needs.
As each of us go to work and witness the myriad of activities that are required to deliver a value to a client, take a moment and consider whether or not those activities are consistently delivered in a manner that meets the needs of each client and supports the growth of your brand and your company. If not, maybe a new measure of discipline is required. With heightened levels of discipline consistently evident throughout a company, I suspect that total company performance will be significantly improved.