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Called to Coach
Discipline®: Developing Your Leadership Skills
Called to Coach

Discipline®: Developing Your Leadership Skills

Webcast Details

  • Gallup CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2: Discipline
  • What is the power of Discipline in a leadership role?
  • How could Discipline help or hinder you in leading others?

Below are audio and video plus a transcript of the conversation, including time stamps.


Explore Gallup's CliftonStrengths® for Leaders Report and discover its ability to help you maximize the impact of your -- and others' -- unique leadership talents and strengths, in this Season 2 episode of The CliftonStrengths Podcast. Join Jim Collison and Dr. Jaclynn Robinson as they discuss the Discipline® theme, its power in a leadership role, how it can help or hinder you as you lead others, and how you can leverage it with the CliftonStrengths for Managers and CliftonStrengths for Sales Reports. Unlock the leadership potential of your Discipline talent -- because everyone leads something.


Their need for structure as a leader brings a lot of stability into the workforce, because they're that leadership that's guiding people.

Jaclynn Robinson, 1:59

If you've got a sales leader with high Discipline, then team members can count on them to help them create a sales strategy or territory schedule that's going to be most efficient in meeting the needs of their clients.

Jaclynn Robinson, 9:10

Jim Collison 0:00
I am Jim Collison, and this is The CliftonStrengths Podcast, Season 2, recorded on March 10, 2023.

Jim Collison 0:20
In this CliftonStrengths Podcast series, we look at the CliftonStrengths for Leaders Report one theme at a time, and today's theme is Discipline. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in chat. There's a link right above me to it. Or if you're listening to questions after the fact, you can always send us your questions: Dr. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Senior Learning and Development Consultant, joined me for Season 1 of The CliftonStrengths Podcast, where we, where we looked at Wellbeing at Work one theme at a time. Jaclynn, always great to have you. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 0:49
Thank you. I just realized, try saying, "Wellbeing at Work" fast. That can be a tongue twister.

Introducing Discipline

Jim Collison 0:55
That can be, well, those with Discipline would slow down enough to get it right. We're talking about -- I don't have that; I have Activator and Arranger, and I always want to move fast. But we are talking about Discipline today. Kick us off with that, when we say Discipline, what do we mean?

Jaclynn Robinson 1:11
If you have Discipline high, you enjoy routine and structure. Your world is best described by the order you create.

What Is the Power of Discipline in a Leadership Role?

Jim Collison 1:18
I think sometimes we think that only Discipline has that. And I think that, listen, there are people who don't have it that crave routine and structure. I like it. Doesn't mean I'm best in it, you know, all the time. Doesn't mean it makes me successful all the time. But so I hear from people all the time -- this is one of those strengths envy ones, where people, Oh, I wish I had higher Discipline; super low for me. But I still like it. And I've learned to appreciate it. We're talking about it in the context of a leadership role, right, and, and this CliftonStrengths for Leaders report. So what's the power of this theme in a leadership role? Talk a little bit about that.

Jaclynn Robinson 1:59
Their need for structure as a leader brings a lot of stability into the workforce, because they're, they're that, that leadership that's guiding people. They've got employees moving towards a course of action with expectations and timelines in place and deadlines. And in addition to that, when change or chaos occurs, this leader can be counted on to reset and find a new, predictable pathway through. So it's like pause, reset, OK. I've got a plan. I think they create a lot of structure and stability.

Jim Collison 2:32
Yeah, talk about it. It comes out of the Executing Domain. Talk a little bit about, how do you see that in working with people, what, flush that out just a little bit more. What does that look like? Or -- hold on, Mark would want me to say, "flesh that out a little bit more"! Would you do that?

Jaclynn Robinson 2:52
Well, if I'm thinking of this individual at the leadership level, then when they're in those strategic meetings, they can keep the agenda tight. This is what we've got set; let's make sure we're covering it. They're the folks that can help just to streamline ideas or initiatives to make sure that it's going to be tackled through and through. So little, little unlike Focus, where we think more about what's the goal we're trying to achieve here. That person with high Discipline can help shape the path, make sure timelines are set, make sure each leader might know what their communication message is or what their responsibilities are, and just make sure that everyone is really running like a well-oiled machine. And then when we think about how that starts to cascade down, you know, employees are now streamlined on their communication and aligned, because that leader's helped shape the other leaders around them.

How Can Those With Discipline Lead Others?

Jim Collison 3:47
Yeah. And I think, again, important to remind folks, they're good at this and successful at it, and they do it every time. Like, folks with high Discipline. There are moment, I have moments like this. But I'm, they're not always successful, and I don't do it all the time. Right. And so, great to hear. I love this theme, because it's so, I love talking about these themes that are low for me, because it really, I, it gives me some insight on how to lean into them with others. As we think about others, how could this theme lead others? Give us some -- a few, maybe a few more specific examples of how it could lead others.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:25
They can set clear standards and expectations, for one. So those within their sphere of influence have role clarity timelines, and they also have the resources they need to make sure that they can carry out their role with efficiency and accountability.

Jim Collison 4:41
And you're using some words that are just foreign to me -- accountability.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:46
I saw you pausing there. I'm like, he's thinking!

Jim Collison 4:50
And probably shares some, some, some talents with Command too. I hear a little bit of that, right, all these Executing themes in here, right.

Jaclynn Robinson 4:59
That's a really good callout!

How Could Discipline Hinder Your Leadership of Others?

Jim Collison 5:00
Actually, as we think about any of those by domain, and you start hearing some of the similarities in them, you think it sounds, you think it sounds like it. Let's, let's flip that. In the report, we talk about helps. But we've got some hinders in there as well. How could this theme hinder the leadership of others?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:17
When it comes to an unclear path ahead, so when the path changes, and it's necessary to make some quick adjustments, this leader could struggle. So with self-awareness and a moment of reflection, and they can put a new plan in place and move forward. But they do tend to need that think time to just pause and go, Wait a minute! Let me, let me reset mentally and figure out where we're going. And this is where really being open to the creative thoughts and ideas or strategies of other people can really help them as well, whether it's a direct report or a fellow colleague.

Jim Collison 5:52
I think I'd add a little bit to that of understanding that everybody's not built like you are, right. This is one of those where it's easy. I think it's so visible at times, that I'm either there, or I'm not, to say, Well, if you would just buckle down; if you would just do it the same way twice, Jim. Right. If you -- oh, did I, was that my example? You know, because that's, right, I mean, and the, I think that it can get it, it can get demotivating to others if it's taken without understanding. Right? If you're just saying, "You know, if you would just -- ." So if you find yourself, high Discipline folks, if you find yourself using that phrase, "Well, you know, if you would just -- " check yourself at that point.

Jaclynn Robinson 6:44
If you would just stick to this schedule, this routine. That can feel so suffocating for people that need freedom to think or freedom to explore their workplace in the way that suits them, like high Adaptability. They're going to be at their best when they're reacting, not when you're trying to force them to be proactive. So I'd love that. I think that's a, another key hindrance that we would see.

Jim Collison 7:10
We're spending some time thinking about this in the context of the 4 Needs, right? So Hope, Stability, Compassion and Trust. What, where do you think, where do you think Discipline fits in in that structure? What does it provide?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:23
See Stability right off the bat. We're going to create some order, some structure. Even when there's change, there's going to be some predictability that helps you feel like you can anchor down. And to that degree that that, I think, brings Compassion, because of that person high in Discipline is disconcerted by the change or the movement; they're going to want to make sure that they maybe overcommunicate or make sure that they get that structure in place pretty quickly, so people can feel more secure in their role or what the road ahead looks like. And I think that brings Trust, for sure. Because it's, OK, we trust that this person is going to have a plan.

Jim Collison 8:05
Yeah, even, for me, it even brings Hope, at times, knowing, like, when there's chaos around and things are falling off my plate that they're, that those with high Discipline, chances are they got a better shot at it than me. So I just cling to that -- I'm dying here!

Jaclynn Robinson 8:25
Clinging, like it's a life raft.

How Can You Use Discipline as You Lead, Together With the Managers and Sales Reports?

Jim Collison 8:27
What do we need to do? Like, you know, especially in those where it's consistent processes that need to happen the same way all the time. Those do exist, right? So that brings great Hope to me. And so I always appreciate that. This season, we're spending some time thinking about this idea of report dynamics -- what would happen, we have these three role-based reports, right: CliftonStrengths for Leaders we're focusing this year, CliftonStrengths for Managers, and then CliftonStrengths for Sales. And so let's think about this. If we, if we took kind of those two ideas of, of leaders and sales and put them together, what, how would we think about that, Jaclynn?

Jaclynn Robinson 9:04
These are so fun to start thinking about how these combine together, by the way. So with Discipline, if you've got a sales leader with high Discipline, then team members can count on them to help them create a sales strategy or territory schedule that's going to be most efficient in meeting the needs of their clients. And then I think even beyond that, this leader can help them think about how to scope out their day, so they can effectively respond to emails, hold follow-up calls, complete administration, and even, you know, walk into their accounts. So I love thinking of this person as that, that Go To, that thought partner, so to speak, to help them think about how to maximize their day, little "m." But they can, they can certainly, you know, create that high return on investment through the structure that they can help this person craft.

Jim Collison 9:54
Taking, taking that me to we concept and saying, OK, I've been successful with this these things, but now knowing you and your sales talents, how can we create some structure around you that make, that makes it work for you in this situation? I think that's the, that's the growth in this is to, as a sales leader or as a, as a leader in sales, to say, you know, we got to follow up. How are we going to? Because you have to in sales. You have to follow up, or you starve. So how are we going to follow up? This is what's worked for me. But let's figure out a way to make it work for you, based on who you are, right? Maybe automation, or maybe it just needs to be someone else helping you do that or whatever, right. Fill in -- I don't know, would you add anything to that?

Jaclynn Robinson 10:41
No, I love that! It's, I think what a blessing that is for the newer sales folks, too, that are trying to figure out how to manage their territory, especially if it's large. Well, let's think about where you might be on a Monday. How do you want to manage those accounts that might be closer in that region? Or if you're waiting to go see a prospect or a client, to your point, is that a good time for you to do some admin and respond to emails in your car while you wait? So, yeah, I think that's, that was well said.

Jim Collison 11:09
Yeah, well, you know, we're going through, we're, currently it's, as it's, it's March of 2023, folks will listen to this much later. But we're going through some process to make some things more efficient for our certification-recertification process for our coaches. And part of, I consider part of the sales process the follow-up that we do to certification. That's just as important as the communication we do. And now I have really, because I have really, really low Discipline, I have to really lean on partners in this who will ensure, Hey, I can keep track of all of the pieces. But I need to hand those off in the sales process to others, and say, I need you to do this for me, and make sure this gets done right. And so that is not just -- when we think about sales, it's just not widgets and licenses and product. It might be, it might be promises made in a sales cycle to be fulfilled after the sales. That's just as important in sales. OK, this is not a sales podcast. When we think about, sorry --

Jaclynn Robinson 12:18
But we were talking sales; we were talking sales.

Jim Collison 12:19
At least I was close. As a leader, as, thinking then with the Leaders Report and the Manager Report, how might those two work together?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:28
Well, the individuals on this leader's team likely feel a lot of stability just within their day to day. There's that steady cadence that's happening. And I think that lends itself to trust and reliability on the team. Team members know that meetings are going to start and end on time with that set agenda. They know what goals they're striving towards, what timelines necessary to meet those goals. And I think what can elevate this leader's management style is to really have an awareness -- and you mentioned this earlier -- of how individuals manage their calendar in day-to-day tasks with success. And they might prefer less structure and more adaptability. So really starting to kind of individualize and know what it is that helps this person be successful can help them be an even more effective leader. They might not want all that structure. But it's great to have from that, maybe, you know, that collective standpoint, when it comes to team meetings or, or goal setting.

Jim Collison 13:25
Yeah, it gets me thinking about this idea of having adaptable structure and structured adaptability, right. They both have to coexist together. And they can look a little bit different, and based on the needs, I think, for this leader or manager, of structuring this, and for those who are a little more free-flowing, of figuring out ways to add structure for accountability. And for those who have high structure and accountability, how do we make it so they can adapt to the situation, right? Because we have to do both. It's not, it's not, it's almost never one way. It's always both. And, and -- shouldn't say "always"; that's probably -- most of the time, a lot of the time we need, we need both, right. And I think a good leader-manager is constantly thinking how to create that structured adaptability or adaptable structure to make it work. So, Jaclynn, as we kind of wrap this up, any final thoughts on Discipline?

Jaclynn Robinson 14:22
That was good. I feel like you just found some new trademarks with those phrases.

Jim Collison 14:28
I was channeling, since we talked about him earlier, I was channeling my inner Curt Liesveld on that. That's something he would have said. And he might have, maybe I just stole it from him. But final thoughts.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:41
Yeah, so those with Discipline, I think that, you know, you've, you've got a lot that you can offer teams and colleagues, in terms of making sure that people feel like they are tackling what they need to for the day or within that meeting itself. And then it's also that caveat of remembering that some people need freedom to think, freedom to ideate, freedom to manage their day to day with maybe less structure and a little bit more adaptability and fluidity. So with that, Godspeed!

Jim Collison 15:15
Good luck!

Jaclynn Robinson 15:16
Good luck!

Jim Collison 15:18
With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantage of all the resources we have available now in Gallup Access. If you head out to, sign in, and actually we have a resource area, upper, menu upper left-hand corner, drop it down, choose Resources. There's a search bar in there. You can put a theme in; everything we've done around this theme, available for you there. And just a great way to get some additional learning and some resources. Stay up to date with all the webcasts by following us at Join us on any social platform by searching "CliftonStrengths," and we want to thank you for joining us today, if you're listening live. And then make sure you Like and Subscribe so you never, you never miss an episode. Thanks for listening. If you're, if you're listening live stay around for a little bit of the midshow. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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