Nothing Less Than Perfect for the Disciplined

By: Ashlee

We all have that one friend who makes your life look like a total and complete mess. They’re involved in a hundred and one activities, work a handful of jobs, go out with friends on a regular basis, and never miss an assignment or term paper deadline. On top of that, they never seem flustered or rushed. In fact, they’re highly organized and efficient (It’s so annoying, right?)  How the heck do they get it all done day after day? While it’s possible they have a strong Type-A personality, I’m pretty sure they also have one of the thirty-four strengths in their corner and that strength would be Discipline.


What is the Discipline Theme?

People who are especially talented in the Discipline theme enjoy routine and structure. Their world is best described by the order they create. Sneak a peek into their planner and you’ll find their entire day planned out. It helps them plan their day and shape what needs to be done. According to the GallupBusiness Journal, Discipline talented individuals focus on timelines and deadlines. Long-term projects are broken down into specific-short term plans, and each plan is worked through diligently. While a Disciplined person is not necessarily neat and clean 100% of the time, they crave precision in their work. Discipline-strong individuals tend to dislike surprises, are impatient with errors, and may misinterpret another person’s detail orientation as a need to control others in the group.  A nice word to sum it all up: a Perfectionist.

Discipline Habits

The key to understanding your Top 5 strengths isn’t just understanding how they work for you as an individual, but also understanding how to work with others when they clash (and it’s bound to happen, people.) For example, I like having structure to my day but because one of my Top 5 strengths is Adaptability, if a hiccup happens in my plans, I don’t have a problem flipping my To-Do List around to accommodate the needs. While Adaptability and Discipline may not clash outright, someone who exhibits a strong presence Discipline, classmates and associates working closely with them may become irritated with their need for perfection or their need for order.

How Disciplines Work With Others

What can a person strong in Discipline do to help keep things running smoothly when work styles clash with others? Communication is key. Explain to those you’re working closely with how your process works, and while they still might become irritated with your need for perfectionism, don’t be afraid to let it show through your work. They’ll come to appreciate it and want to see it in action. On a more individual basis, a Disciplined person has to understand not everyone is going to be as disciplined as them. Their clumsy process will be frustrating, there’s no denying it. Instead, try not to focus too much on their process, but on the results they turn out.

Career Paths for Strong Discipline Types

If Discipline is one of your Top 5 strengths, there are more than plenty of career paths to follow where the need for detail-orientation and perfection is highly needed. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Take on a career where order for yourself and others can be maintained.
  • Your organizing skills could be helpful in administrative positions.
  • Find jobs that require exactness, such as an accountant or medical transcriptionist.
  • Look for work settings where you can be counted upon following through and can work systematically. A journalist, for example, needs to follow through on their facts.
  • Help others become organized! Your skills can help others become more effective and improve their follow through. Think about event planning where details are crucial.

Face it, you’re a perfectionist, and it’s a good thing. While some may criticize your perfectionism, just think of all the professions in which you wouldn’t want someone who wasn’t a perfectionist, like an airplane pilot, a brain surgeon, a pharmacist, etc…

Don’t Have Discipline as a Top 5 Strength?

There’s a lot to be learned from someone who has a very strong Discipline theme running through their every day work. Simply observe them. Notice the things they do from organizing their day and projects, how they take care of even the smallest of details, and their follow-through on everything they take on. While it may not seem like a lot, these are crucial skills future employers look for when hiring.

Read Ashlee’s other posts

Read other StrengthsQuest posts

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