Starting people off on the right foot with your company, department or classroom begins with effective disciplinary procedures. This doesn’t mean threatening behavior, looking for reasons to discipline, but creating an environment where policy and procedure are clear and strict.
It is an old saying that it is “far easier to loosen up than it is to tighten up.” Having strict policies when it comes to decorum, attendance, methods of communicating, and the like can pay huge dividends down the road. When you have a strict but fair policy governing your workplace, you can then afford to make concessions for reasonable accommodations.
Again, be careful when it comes to being accommodating, as this too can be seen as “giving in” or being “too flexible” to those who follow everything by the book.
Those who follow what you and your company stand for deserve consistency. By walking your talk, making clear and concise (but fair) rules, and by never succumbing to emotions in responses to requests or in making decisions, you can have the respect and honor you and your company deserve.
Discipline isn’t just about “disciplining” people; it’s about having the discipline to know how to carry yourself gracefully regardless of the circumstances. When the people who report to you can see you responding well no matter the pressure, this breeds the same type of character traits that you possess.
If you work hard at maintaining your cool, keeping your head when others have lost theirs, and are consistent in your delivery of company and personal practices, you will earn many “disciples” who will make it easier for you and your company to meet its goals and vision.