This is the second of 4 posts on Erich Fromm’s book The Art of Loving.
According to Fromm, the practice of love requires discipline, concentration, and patience. Discipline, on the surface, seems like a strange concept to use in conjunction with love. We often think of falling in love and that love is an uncontrolled emotion that overcomes us.
Fromm believed that the art of loving parallels other arts. When we practice discipline, concentration, and patience in leadership we are demonstrating a love that brings strength, energy, and a caring focus on the people we are leading.
Here is a quote from Fromm indicating that being in the mood in order to perform our leadership role will never result in mastery; I shall never be good at anything if I do not do it in a disciplined way; anything I do only if “I am in the mood” may be a nice or amusing hobby, but I shall never become a master in that art.
How do you practice the discipline of leadership?
What are the routines and rituals that help you get the job done?
How do you practice caring in leadership when you don’t feel like it?
How do you make time for the important but the non urgent functions of leadership?
In case you believe that discipline is a form of tortuous self-authoritarianism read the following statement from Fromm:
It is essential, however, that discipline should not be practiced like a rule imposed on oneself from the outside, but that it becomes an expression of one’s own will; that is felt as pleasant, and that one slowly accustoms oneself to a kind of behaviour which one would eventually miss, if one stopped practicing it.
Although leadership can be a challenge it can also be a love that we willing engage in with a sense of discipline that can be pleasant and rewarding.
Here are 3 sources to read more about discipline:
Next post: Concentration