Discipline and sanctions: two delicate tools in the hand of a leader

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Discipline and sanctions, when well-handled can be effective tools for the leader to get things moving in the right direction and with the right perspective.

But the abuse or misuse of these tools could have very negative consequences.

As a leader you should ask yourself these questions when faced with the possibility of meting out discipline or sanctions:

Why is it necessary at this point in time?

What is the expected outcome of this?

Who is the beneficiary in this?

Wrong motives for meting out discipline and sanctions

To earn the respect of others and gain influence

To establish one’s authority, “I’m the one in charge here…”

As a means to revenge or get back at someone who hurt you in the past

To degrade and humiliate a rival

To silence opposition and dissenting voices

As an attempt to hide your weaknesses and failures

When discipline and sanctions become tools that benefit more the leader rather than those who are led and the organization, they become dangerous tools.

  • There is always a better way to establish your authority as a leader and earn respect from those you lead.
  • Avoid dishing out sanctions when you are still in that mood that provoked the decision to sanction the individual in question.
  • Postpone the sanction; reexamine the motive to see if you still feel the same the next day.

As a leader what are your motives for meting out discipline and sanctions in your home, organization, church, classroom…? Share.






2 thoughts on “Discipline and sanctions: two delicate tools in the hand of a leader

  1. In my job here in the country I am living now I like myself and my attitude to people . Yes, I am not perfect but I am teaching myself also. Before I tried to justify myself because of my difficult childhood. I try to teach the kids of discipline but in very funny and friendly way …just to show them the beauty of music and to inspire them. What I can blame myself to now is only that sometimes I fail with children that are not interested in so much and coming from another teacher already have very wrong habits. That is not happening very often and i am still working to be more patient and to get into their soul.



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