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Strategic Discipline Blog

DISCIPLINE - A Principle of Greatness

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Mon, May 20, 2019

Jim Collins Culture of Discipline - Greatness“A culture of discipline is not a principle of business; it is a principle of greatness.” ~ Jim Collins, Good to Great

As a child you may have feared and disliked the word discipline.  Being disciplined usually meant you’d done something wrong.

In business, discipline can have a negative connotation.

Great leaders know to build a great business requires discipline. 

Discipline isn’t as challenging as it would sound.

As The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan shares, you only need enough discipline to create a habit. Once the habit is established discipline flows, easily. 

Misconceptions About Discipline

There are a lot of misconceptions about discipline. self-discipline-1

Do you ever feel you just need more discipline?  Read The Truth About Discipline, Habit, and Willpower to understand this myth.

How long does it take to create a habit?  21 days?  Read How Long To Create a Habit? You’ll discover it can take much longer and possibly shorter to develop your habits.

Creating a habit requires change.  In How to Build A Habit we shared Michael Bungay Stanier five essential components to build an effective habit from his book, The Coaching Habit: Say Less, Ask More & Change the Way You Lead Forever.

daily-habits-quote-fm-alexanderFinally there’s one habit I feel is the most productive to embrace. In Developing The Success Habit – Your One Thing. This habit is emphasized in The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results by Gary Keller, Jay Papasan. It’s a business practice I emphasize with all my coaching customers.

You need discipline to build a great business.

M. Alexander noted, “People do not decide their futures, they decide their habits and their habits decide their futures.” 

Build a Winning Habit - Create A Winning Habit

To build an enduring great organization you need disciplined people, engaged in disciplined thought, to take disciplined action, to produce superior results, making a distinctive impact in the world.

Discipline sustains momentum. Over a long period of time discipline lays the foundation for lasting endurance. It’s the framework for Good to Great.  Here’s how Strategic Discipline, as coached by PosV Lombardi Winning-Is-a-Habititioning Systems, establishes the bedrock for your businesses’ journey from good to Great.  

  • Stage 1: Disciplined People – Collins believes first who, then what. People are the most important element of a good to great transformation.  How you select these people, who you select, and the type of discipline they possess determines your future.  Positioning Systems follows Topgrading principles to help you select 90% A players for your team. Several of the subsequent elements of Strategic Discipline support maintaining this discipline.  Collins shares these elements as Level 5 Leadership and First Who, Then What—Get The Right People On The Bus.
  • Stage 2: Disciplined Thought – A business needs to have the proper thinking to grow.The Flywheel Good to Great-1Collins outlines these Thought Disciplines as The Genius of the And, Confront the Brutal Facts – The Stockdale Paradox, and the Hedgehog Concept. See A Map – The Journey from Good To Great for more details on Collins’ framework for building an enduring great organization.  Positioning Systems has helped my customers identify their Hedgehog Concept, and I’ve personally lived through my own Stockdale Paradox.
  • Stage 3: Disciplined Action – In Collin’s framework (see A Map – The Journey from Good To Great) he includes The Flywheel, 20 Mile March, and Fire Bullets, Then Cannonballs. Positioning Systems has helped customers develop their Flywheel, establish a 20 Mile March, and conduct the Fire Bullets, then Cannonballs innovation process. Disciplined Action requires a concerted effort to establish meeting rhythms.  The meeting rhythms are foundational to discipline in action.
  • Stage 4: Build Greatness – Here Collin’s framework (see A Map – The Journey from Good To Great again) includes Productive Paranoia, Clock Building, Not Time Telling, Preserve the Core/Stimulate Progress, and 10X Multiplier Return on Luck. These are leadership disciplines.  My customer and I, specifically the CEO, cover these important elements in our weekly one-on-one meetings.

Marshall Goldsmith one of the most respected business coaches, author of What Got You Here Won't Get You There, and many other successful books, noted at one of our ScaleUp Summits, his success as a coach wasn’t because he was so good, it was because his customers are.

Positioning Systems is only as good as the customers we work with.  Success is predicated on my customers determination, commitment, dedication, purpose, and openness to ideas.

The most successful customers possess a burning desire to learn and make their business successful.

Do you have a burning desire to learn and grow your business to be great?  Contact me at

3 Disciplines of Execution (Strategic Discipline)-1Growth demands Strategic Discipline.

Positioning Systems is obsessively driven to elevate your teams Discipline.  A winning habit starts with 3 Strategic DisciplinesPriorityMetrics and Meeting Rhythms.   Your business dramatically improves forecasting, accountability, individual, and team performance.

Creating, defining, understanding, with creativity and DISCIPLINE your Flywheel establishes Execution Excellence.

Meeting Rhythms achieve a disciplined focus on performance metrics to drive growth.

Positioning Systems helps your business achieve these outcomes on the Four most Important Decisions your business faces:












Positioning Systems helps mid-sized ($5M - $250M) business Scale-UP. We align your business to focus on Your One Thing!  Contact to Scale Up your business! Take our Four Decisions Needs Assessment to discover how your business measures against other Scaled Up companies. We’ll contact you.

ScaleUp Summit AtlantaNext Blog: Atlanta ScaleUp Summit

Tuesday & Wednesday this week is the ScaleUp Summit in Atlanta.  I’ll be attending with one of my customers.  Speaker highlights will follow in my next blog.

Topics: Discipline, Strategic Discipline, Culture of Discipline, Jim Collins, Businesss Disciplines, Turning the Flywheel

Challenges of Scaling Up a Business 







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Positioning Systems Brand Promise

1. Priorities: Determine your #1 Priority. Achieve measurable progress in 90 days.

2. Metrics: Develop measurable Key Performance Indicators. 

3. Meetings: Establish effective meeting rhythms. (Cadence of Accountability)  Compounding the value of your priority and metrics. 

(BRAND PROMISE GUARANTEE): We will refund all compensation if our disciplined coaching and proprietary tools fail to meet your expectations.

Certified Gazelles Coach

Doug Wick, President

Positioning Systems


The Strategic Discipline Blog focuses on midsize business owners with a ravenous appetite to improve his or her leadership skills and business results.

Our 3 disciplines include:

- Priorities
- Metrics
- Meeting Rhythms

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