A recent posting by a colleague, S. Anthony Iannarino, discussed the talent of self discipline respective to sales leadership. His article touched on some of the specific qualities required for those who leverage this talent of self discipline.
From a 30,000 foot perspective, I would like to broaden this discussion to liken this talent to a sense of duty to oneself. When individuals exercise this strength of self discipline, they are consistent and true in all interactions with themselves. Being true to one’s ideals (think ethics and beliefs) is almost a compulsive type behavior or what one of my clients referred to being “in congruency” between his beliefs and actions. In simpler words, there are no excuses for not taking this or that action.
According to the Innermetrix performance appraisal, this talent can be measured. Individuals with a good score will have:
“inner strength, which enables them to whether even difficult situations. Since this strength is internal, as opposed to coming from an external force such as society or a supervisor, it will provide a sense of strength which the person will be able to use to bolster their belief in a chosen direction or course of action.”
Conversely, those with a low or poor score “does not tend to focus an internal belief structure, and the lack of such an innate guide can result in a tendency to lack commitment to a chosen path or course of action. In difficult situations such a person may begin to question their own actions, or be easily swayed off course.” (Source Innermetrix)
Another reason for understanding this talent is because in sales you must know yourself first and define yourself. It is very easy to become defined by others and this can go to embracing this latest sales training coaching program that will increase sales or do some other magical stuff. When individuals, especially those in sales, fail to stay true to what they know to be true disaster awaits. Disaster happens because a focus is on others, on excuses and not owning one’s own behaviors and ultimately one’s results.
Probably more than even in the 20th century due to all the distractions from the economy to social media to technology, self discipline is critical to the ability to increase sales and overall sales success. If you are unsure of this talent within your own sales leadership or the sales leadership of your team, consider having this talent assessed as a benchmark for future growth and development.