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The Value of Patience

When leaders display patience – a necessary skill for effective leadership – they are more likely to lead a long-term successful organization. Certainly making snap decisions and doing little planning and being impatient with people when they don’t move fast enough may get you what you need in the short term, but it is not sustainable and you will lost your best talent. Too often those leaders who are seeing significant success in their organizations become arrogant and impatient and believe that by pushing employees to keep doing more and doing it faster is the way to continued success. It is not and I can point out a few clients who learned this the hard way.

Patient leaders do the following effectively:

  • Listen to the employees and actively solicit ideas about what is working and what is not (where processes and procedures need improvement for continued success)
  • Get others involved in strategic planning – ensuring that a variety of points of view are considered and not just from the executive level
  • Enable for time for planning before acting – realizes that working faster does not mean working better
  • Balance gathering data with making decisions to move forward

Sometimes being patient takes work! We have all worked with folks who move a bit slower than we would like, or take longer to make a decision than we want. Sometimes I have to push those folks along a little bit. But remaining patient and given them some latitude enables for much more success at the end. As leaders, we need to remember that we don’t have all the answers and that we don’t necessarily know the best way to getting things done – we need to balance our leadership role with reaching out and engaging others but certainly keeping in mind we are ultimately responsible for the direction taken.