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High-Stakes Leadership by Constance Dierickx

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Chapter 9

The Process of Discipline

The word discipline is both a noun and a verb. To discipline is to teach, train, and correct wrong behaviors. A discipline is an area of knowledge, such as the discipline of anthropology, physics, or the law. Discipline for leaders has more to do with disciplined process—it is a necessary aspect of fortitude. Without disciplined process, fortitude may veer into force. With disciplined process, fortitude is better calibrated and becomes an instrument of progress in ways that are precisely what is needed in the circumstance.

Why is this distinction important? First, when we think of discipline, we usually think of an act of will, of staying the course. Often, it is thought to involve effort—even struggle—to control ...

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