I made a new friend last week; his name is Rob and he serves as the inspiration for this week’s newsletter. Let me explain. Thursday a week ago we spent the better part of the morning and early afternoon on his sailboat searching the Northern Chesapeake for some wind. We were unsuccessful and decided to return to the Marina and practice some docking techniques. One that was new and proved especially difficult for me is docking with the use of a Spring Line. Rob is a master of this technique! He taught me how to use the line, throttle, and leverage as a means of docking, but more important he modeled the value of patience as he led me through the process. He never let me feel rushed, and his calm reassuring manner let me find success. He recognized that success does not come instantly for all and that there is value in trial and error when one is learning. During the entire process, I never felt I was being judged, rather I was being coached. Rob, thanks for the docking lesson and inspiring this piece.
Glenn Llopis, a contributor to Forbes.com shares some great ideas in his post, 5 Powerful Ways Leaders Practice Patience . Llopis sets the stage by identifying issues that challenge our patience; generating results, doing more with less, and workplace reinvention and uncertainty. He then identifies one of the leader’s responsibilities in this new environment, “Our collective effort to exercise patience is being tested today more than ever before – and as leaders we must do more to make up for those that have already lost their patience along the way.”. Llopis then identifies and explains five (5) ways leaders can practice and model patience in the workplace:
1 See things through the lens of others
2 Evaluate tension points in an unbiased way
3 Listen and ask questions with a positive attitude
4 Seek perspective from a trusted resource
5 Don’t run away from being responsible yourself
He concludes his piece by reminding us, “The more patience you practice, the more resourceful, composed, compassionate and mindful you become as a leader.”
Another perspective is provided through Rich Eich’s Commentary appearing in the Winter/Spring, 2017 issue of The Journal of Values-Based Leadership. His piece, “On Patience in Leadership”, begins by dispelling the myth that leaders exhibiting patience are weaker than those who make the split-second decision. In fact, just the opposite may be true. In an era where there is a demand for immediate results and meeting the bottom line quickly, having the strength of patience enables considerations of rapidly changing conditions. Eich’s commentary then considers the leadership characteristics of many of the world’s greatest leaders and he uses the word PATIENCE as an acronym.
P – Purpose (Patient leaders understand that having purpose and sticking to it is essential.)
A – Approachability (Patient leaders are open-minded and understand the value in being accessible.)
T – Tolerance (Patient leaders understand the benefits of being broad-minded in accomplishing goals.)
I – Independence (Patient leaders are independent, honest and in some cases even defiant.)
E – Empathy (Patient leaders are compassionate and concerned about others.)
N – Nurturing (Patient leaders encourage and support others.)
C – Confidence (Patient leaders are cool and self-assured—without being cocky and conceited.)
E – Endurance (Patient leaders don’t give up.)
He concludes his commentary advising us to remember that when meeting goals, the value of patience is preferable to that of impetuous action.
So let’s end with something simple. What are some things we can all do tomorrow to help us develop improved patience. Connie Shih shares some ides in her Lifehack post, “How to Practice Patience and Why Impatience is Ruining Your Life.” She begins with a discussion of control, proposing that many of us operate under the pretense that we are fully in control of our lives, thus setting ourselves up for frustration. The reality is that we do not have control of everything, thus patience becomes our openness to the unexpected and lets us learn from and be guided by outside forces. The balance of the article provides insight into concrete ways to develop patience. Rob’s lesson on spring line docking is a perfect example of Shih’s fourth suggestion.
There’s an old saying, “Good things come to those who wait!” I hope this week’s newsletter was one of the things for which you were waiting. Have a great week and Embrace the Challenge