Victor Hugo, is an interesting case study when it comes to discipline. The French poet who is famous in America for writing the popular play Les Miserables was a bit distracted when it came to his work.
Instead of writing everyday like he was supposed to, Victor would wander the roads, putter around his garden, and mess around the house. He just couldn’t bring himself to sit down and write.
Finally Victor decided to build some accountability into his life. He asked his servant to take away his clothes every night. This forced Hugo to stay in his room every morning and write. Once he was finished each day he was given back his clothes and he was free to roam.
The writing of Les Miserables took 17 years. Thankfully Hugo forced himself to do the right thing. Had he not done so the world would never have received his masterpiece.
Chances are there are some of you reading this who need to “Go Hugo” in some area of your leadership. There are projects undone, dreams never pursued, and relationships that have been put on hold.
While I’m not suggesting you ditch the clothes to make yourself do the right thing, there are some things you could do to increase your leadership integrity.
First – Focus on First things First. This rule is tried and true. Identify the most important thing you will do this week and then do it. At the end of the week there are very few things that, if left undone, will cause you to feel regret. But there are a few. They are the things you should focus on first.
Second – Be Consistent. Slow and steady wins the race. Doing the most important things on a consistent basis will lead to great gains over time. Writing a page a day for a year will produce a book. Small deposits over time will lead to a large bank account. Four workouts every week will change your body.
Third – Ask for Help. Just as Victor had someone help him with his challenge, so should you. There is nothing that makes me want to do something more than knowing someone is going to ask me if I did it. What gets inspected gets done!
It’s time to “Go Hugo.” Identify your weak spots and go on the attack.
And who knows? We might just end up with another masterpiece.
Randy is an author, speaker, executive coach, and the CEO of InteGREAT Leadership. He invests his time encouraging leaders around the world.