Revealing Patience In Leadership
How does the value of patience reveal itself in your leadership? Patience is more than just being willing to “wait”.
Patience means endurance under thorny circumstances; good-natured tolerance of difficulties.
Leaders who demonstrate this kind of patience are appreciated more than they realize. It’s a powerful value that is often undervalued.
Now, maybe you feel you don’t have enough patience. That’s natural.
Consider a few different analogies about patience:
- Patience is like an elastic band that snaps when it exceeds its limits.
- Patience is like a gas tank that must be constantly refilled, before it runs out.
- Patience is like the energy a runner must manage during a long distant race.
Which one resonates most with you? Whatever way you view patience, you likely recognize when it is running low or needs to be managed.
To assess how patience reveals itself in your leadership, consider the following questions:
- Do you feel like you are required to have all the answers? Where do you go for help?
- Which is harder: the anticipation of an unknown outcome; or the waiting for change?
- How can demonstrating patience right now help build a stronger team around you?
- Are you allowing enough time for others to resolve issues or develop solutions?
- Who do you know that always remains positive during trials? How do they do it?
- After the current thorny circumstance is gone, what story will you tell your friends?
Bottom line: patience can be revealed in many different ways.
We know that living with – and through – difficulties is a natural part of life. Then why don’t we learn how to better manage challenging circumstances? If possessing patience is an essential quality for leading a healthy, happy life, then why don’t we plan for it?
Where do we find patience? When do we learn it? How do we acquire it?
In the Law of Process, from John Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership, effective leaders practice the skill of planning and reflecting every day. They plan their day, and then at the end of the day take some time to reflect on the day. They consider what went well and why; what didn’t go well and why; and what they could have done differently.
In other words, effective leaders are constantly learning and growing from their experiences.
Have you ever noticed that when you sit with a wise person, they also seem to possess an immense amount of patience? They rarely seem to be in a hurry. This is not because they no longer have any problems. Quite the contrary. Their patience comes with the wisdom to know when they should wait and when they should act.
Wise people also never forget the power of prayer.
“Patience is the companion of wisdom.” – Saint Augustine
Bonus: a great way to develop patience is to seek wisdom.