Strengths Spotlight: Discipline

by Brian Salvaggio, Director of Human Resources

BMSTop 5: Relator, Empathy, Harmony, Discipline, Responsibility

Q1:  How do you define this theme of talent for yourself?

Discipline for me is seeing that I need to structure things for myself so that I get the important things done by a deadline. I like having a sense of accomplishment. I have never been a “fly by the seat of my pants” person, so it is important that I plan ahead so I don’t feel pressured and rushed at the last minute. With the things that are important to me, I can have laser focus. Rarely do I get distracted from my goals.  One good example is that I work out six days a week at the gym. Fitness is important and I make sure that I place this as a priority. Three days of strength training and three days of cardio are part of my weekly ritual.

When I am unsure and in new territory…. practice, practice, practice helps prepare me and allows me to feel more confident. A description that fits for me is that “play must be earned”. It is hard for me to leave the house in a mess before taking time to go on a day trip or a fun night out with friends. Getting things accomplished and done well is a high priority.  I see myself as a dive in and do it worker. If I over process the task at hand I might get side tracked or discouraged by outside forces.

Words and adjectives that best describe Discipline: Focus, Structure, Predictable, Planned, Responsible, Detailed-Oriented, Self-Controlled, Rehearsed, Planned, and OrganizedDiscipline1

Q2: When this talent is applied, what has this theme enabled you to do in your role at BSU?

At BSU and through my professional career, the theme of discipline has for the most part been a strong force in my success. People see me as no nonsense worker who can be counted on to get something accomplished. Too much time is often wasted at meetings. I would rather get back to my desk and get on with things. Rarely do my projects sit in a “to do” pile waiting for something to happen or for someone else to initiate them. I take it on myself to find out what information I need and work towards accomplishing what I set out to do. In team projects, I am the one who makes sure we are moving on the agenda and that everyone understands their role. I will check in with my team to see where things are at. Discipline means I can’t let go of the responsibility easily. I want to but I just can’t. I don’t like to be tied to a sinking ship, discipline make me stay the course until the end.

 Q3: How is this theme of talent sometimes misunderstood?

Discipline sometimes can be misconstrued as being rigid or that the task is more important than the process. Both process and task are important in the theme of discipline. I believe that in order to reach my goals it is necessary to employ intense focus on process and task. Discipline is a way of thinking about the end goal and the satisfaction of accomplishment that comes with working hard, steady, and determined. Even when it appears there are difficulties or obstacles ahead this does not deter me from moving forward. Working through difficulties can bring even intense satisfaction knowing that my hard work or my team’s hard work paid off. Since I know I am not always the expert I enjoy looking at the strengths and weaknesses of team members and try to identify who can help us move forward. I will seek out the best experts who can provide help or support in reaching the goals of a particular project.

 Discipline2Q4: What are ways you have helped this talent to “mature” over the course of your career and experience?

For me the discipline theme has been with me since I was a young boy. I watched my father and mother work hard to raise a family and sometimes they worked two jobs in order to make a better life for their eight children. Dad worked as a machine operator in a paper company and through hard work and discipline he proved himself valuable to his employer. The company invested in him with educational opportunities to become part of management. He worked for the same company in various roles. He eventually progressed into management without a college degree and worked for the same company for 35 years. My parents raised their kids to work hard and to be loyal. My parents modeled responsibility and discipline in the way they conducted themselves. I took on my first leadership position as volunteer leader for our town’s Park and Recreation department at the age of 14. I have always worked hard and tried my best to develop a good reputation for getting things done and to do them well. As a college student I applied self-discipline to do well in my classes and to take on leadership positions. The leadership positions helped me formulate a career in student affairs that has lasted over 32 years.


About cindykane

Director of @BSUInvolved and interested in leadership and professional development strategies. Mom, scholar-practitioner, looking to make an impact!
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