“Why is patience so important? Because it makes us pay attention.” -Paulo Coelho
In the midst of the fray our perspective has a tendency to taper and narrow as our focus tightens and compresses. It might be said that when get too close…we can lose sight of the big picture. Effectively allowing us to erect blinders that constrain our leadership vision. Viewing our organization and those we lead through a limited lens. Binding our perspective.
It is here that we can get caught up in the hear and now…giving in to the immediate at the expense of the long-term. Cursing ourselves to decisions made in the heat of the moment. Comments issued, remarks made, emails blasted out, and a reeling-off of rash resolutions – a deluge of decisions handed-down through limited scope and forethought.
Many a leader has stood at this crossroad. Facing the fork that leads to the quick fix. Beckoning. The allure of the smooth and easy transcends the trials of the rough and rocky. The road to instant gratification. The path of least resistance. Unfortunately, the irony of this path is that it extolls the biggest price on our leadership. A toll that invariably leads to a variety of leadership repairs…
Impetuous and rash leadership is regularly in need of repair. Backtracking. Retracting. Backpedaling. Rethinking. All framed in poor judgment. Deprived of perspective and patience. Organizationally disturbing and personally frustrating. Tiresome and laborious. Void of depth. Lacking resolve. Bereft of timing. Thin and shallow.
For when leadership lacks perspective, patience, timing – it takes on a surface-level existence.
Whereas, patience and timing amplify a leaders influence. It is within these traits that strength and persistence grow. For patience and timing demand resolve and steadfastness in a leader. It is no simple task to hold off and refrain from hasty decisions when the crowds clamor for action. It takes dollops of courage and a resoluteness of will to stand tall and firm in the face of the masses. Especially when the right decision is not the popular decision. It requires unwavering willpower.
For, often it is through patience that perspective is granted. Perspective that provides clarity. And where perspective and clarity exist, timing can make its grand entrance. Overcoming those issues that leave our leadership in a state of disrepair – backtracking, retracting, backpedaling, rethinking.
It may be best to remember that from a distance far away all mountains look the same…it isn’t until we get a little closer, until we have gained some perspective, that we can determine the valley’s from the peaks. That we can determine what will be necessary and needed to scale those very heights. When we fire away too early, too quickly, we often lack the perspective necessary to truly understand what we are facing. Very often, it is our ability to exert patience that provides the very perspective that allows persistence to exist, even flourish.
We sometimes need to struggle – with our questions, with our concerns, with our problems. Our push and need for immediacy and quick fixes can often be our leadership undoing. Jumping to and fro onto every new thing places the very foundation of our leadership on sinking sand. A recipe for fatigue and for frustration.
Taking the rough and rocky road tends to hone our leadership. It is not the easy road or route. It will require patience and persistence to persevere the obstacles and difficulties associated with this path. And yet, it is the very thing that gives depth and endurance to our leadership.
Impatience hurts. It hurts us and those we lead.
“Patience is power. Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is ‘timing’. It waits on the right time to act, the right principles in the right way.” -Fulton J. Sheen