Think about those two words for a minute… Think about how they represent conflicting concepts.
Creativity – the hallmark of the right-brained free spirit; freedom from the constraints of bureaucracy; independence; the ability to see and articulate the big new picture. Without it there is no progress.
Discipline – the hallmark of the left-brained engineer; methodical execution of the scientific method; adherence to mathematical standards; control; the ability to repeatedly produce identical results. Without it there is no progress.
The fact is, both creativity and discipline are pre-requisites for progress. One without the other simply does not work. All of the heroes in history – be it philosophy, government, sports, music, inventing, politics, the military or business – demonstrated “Creative Discipline.”
Most of you reading this are in a sales role. Most likely your DNA makes you very comfortable with doing creative work. That’s why most people get into sales to begin with. For us sales types, however, the discipline stuff is not so comfortable. Rules and procedures cramp our styles and seem to interfere with our effectiveness. Down deep though, we understand the need for repeatability, and appreciate the value of discipline.
As a sales leader, focus on the discipline side of the coin.