I have abseiled off a wall that’s more than 10 meters in height, fired a real weapon, and have been on a night mission reconnaissance, going through bushes and scrubs with no lights to depend on, only the moon in the sky and my pair of night vision goggles.

This experience was done through the Defense Reserve Support Council Exercise Executive Stretch.Yep! I had the privilege several years ago of experiencing what it’s like to be a reservist in a 3-day skills and service readiness training prior to deployment.

Why do I feel the need to share this memory with you and what relevance does this experience have to do with “employee engagement”? If I may say so, this experience has EVERYTHING to do with employee engagement, since it could remind us of the importance of Discipline.

Why Is Discipline Important?

According to John F. MacArthur, “Discipline teaches us to operate by principle rather than desire. Saying no to our impulses (even the ones that are not inherently sinful) puts us in control of our appetites rather than vice versa. It deposes our lust and permits truth, virtue, and integrity to rule our minds instead”.

It surprises me to witness companies shying away from providing a disciplined culture in the workplace and effectively leaving their people alone to operate by desire rather than principal.

A simple checklist to see if discipline is a part of your work place culture would be:

  1. Are position descriptions clear and up to date?
  2. Are operating procedures available for our employees to follow?
  3. Are the right materials and tools to do the job accessible?
  4. Do we hold our employees accountable when they get it wrong after we have provided them with 1,2 & 3

Besides the fact that I didn’t get a decent cup of coffee within those 3 days of training, and that I ate out of a ration pack during one of those nights, I reflect on the memory that “the Exercise Executive Stretch” is one of the most accelerated learning experiences a leader could ever have.

  1. The reservist training was a powerful reminder of how effective and productive a disciplined culture can be within a working environment.
  2. It also highlighted just how important the role of a leader is to ensure their employees (reservists in this case) are trained and engaged enough to be ready for any life or death situations that may come

If you want to know more about Executive Stretch or what the DRSC does click below.

Go and Inspire