Strengths Coaching Blog

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mastery Monday: Understanding Discipline

By Albert L. Winseman, D.Min


“A place for everything and everything in its place.” This is the mantra that drives Discipline. Individuals with strong Discipline talents thrive on routine, structure, precision, and order. For those high in Discipline the only thing better than a detailed agenda is a timed detailed agenda – that everyone sticks to. Those with Discipline in their Top Five need their world to be predictable and they don’t particularly like surprises. Sticking to the schedule, fashioning a structure, and building a framework creates a sense of freedom for those high in Discipline, because they don’t have to worry about managing unpredictability. Crossing the ts and dotting the is makes for an orderly, predictable, and precise world – and enables Discipline to be highly productive.

In this installment of Compare and Contrast, I will explore the similarities and differences between Discipline and Focus, Analytical, and Arranger.


Discipline and Focus

Discipline and Focus are both executing themes and are primarily about ways to get things done. There can be a single-mindedness about each of these themes that make them similar and also amplify each other. Discipline tends to center on personal efficiency, sweeping aside all that can get in the way of the most efficient system for getting things done. Focus tends to center on efficiency of goal achievement, sweeping aside all distractions and detours that would prevent one from accomplishing a goal. Those strong in Discipline have clarity about structure, while those strong in Focus have clarity about goals. Focus will work tirelessly to achieve a goal, while Discipline will create the most effective routine for accomplishing the tasks that make up the necessary components of the goal.

Discipline and Analytical

Analytical is primarily a way of thinking, while Discipline is primarily a way of behaving. That said, there are similarities between the two that, like Discipline and Focus, can enhance and amplify each other. Analytical is energized by finding the patterns in the details of the data; Discipline is energized by creating and implementing the details of a routine. Analytical studies the seemingly chaotic to demonstrate the underlying patterns; Discipline brings order and structure to the actual chaos. Someone I have known quite well for many years has Discipline and Analytical in her top five, and that combination manifests itself in the color-coded spreadsheets she has created for over two decades to organize and efficiently manage both her personal and professional life.

Discipline and Arranger

The similarities of Discipline and Arranger are found in the organizational traits that are inherent to each.  And both are executing themes, so the primary focus of both is on how to get things done. Arranger likes to determine how all of the pieces and resources can be orchestrated for maximum productivity, while Discipline likes to create order, structures, and routines so that personal productivity can be achieved. Individuals high in Arranger tend to focus on team accomplishment, while those high in Discipline tend to focus on individual accomplishment. Discipline likes deadlines, details, and predictability; Arranger likes systems, processes, and multiplicity. Arranger is the conductor of the orchestra, and Discipline is the solo violinist whose impeccable technique creates a masterful performance.


Be sure to catch up on Season One and Season Two of Theme Thursday-Discipline to learn more!

Albert L. Winseman, D.Min., is a Senior Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup. Al brings deep expertise in employee and customer engagement, executive leadership and organizational dynamics to his consulting work with Gallup’s clients. He consults with senior leaders, executives and front-line managers to improve employee and customer engagement and to implement strategic initiatives that drive business growth.


Al's top 5 strengths are: Ideation | Futuristic | Maximizer | Strategic | Command




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