Patience can be good. It provides the opportunity for growth and reaching our full potential. As we first learn to ride a bike, we fall often. Each time we fall we get a little closer to being able to successfully ride on our own. Each fall provides valuable feedback for our next ride. Success isn’t instantaneous. It takes time, patience. The urgency to speed up the process is not only futile, but often detrimental. Urgency can be bad.
Patience can be bad. It dismisses the standard and accepts less than what a job requires, even if only for the short-term. A young child would never consider walking if not challenged to do so by a loving parent. Why would they? Crawling works. Why walk? If not for the urgency of a loving parent, a child would patiently continue with what has always worked for them in the past. Urgency pushes us out of our comfort zone and towards our potential. Urgency can be good.
Why Should We Care? The art of leadership is often about striking the right balance. This especially applies for urgency and patience. As leaders, we must be experts in differentiating when we need urgency and when we need patience.
It leads us to a few age-old coaching questions: When do you push? How much do you push? When do you wait? How long do you wait?
Although there is no single answer for all solutions, the following guidelines to be helpful: Lean towards urgency when dealing with the process. Lean towards patience when dealing with the result.
Our leadership focus should be on the process, specifically on getting the process right. Our time, effort, and focus should be almost solely invested in our process. We must be meticulous with our process. Getting it right is essential to success. Regardless of how often we forget it and how easily our focus slips away from it, it is the process that drives the results.
Urgency around our process is vital in upholding standards and pushing our team to reach its potential. Urgency stands in opposition to complacency. When urgent about the process, we seek growth and embrace failure. When urgent about the result, we grow frustrated and accept the path of least resistance.
Patience for the desired result seems obvious, but clearly is not in the world of instant-gratification we live in. We, and those we lead, begin to believe success comes with the snap of the fingers. This is anything but true for teams, and rightfully so. Greatness takes time. Achieving the highest standard is difficult and often involves several failures along the way. Be thankful that greatness takes time and patience, it separates the willing.
REAL TALK - Action Steps The trusted process and the desired results above are different for every person and every team. There is no right or wrong, but there clearly is a best. Take a look at the steps below to find your process and identify your results.
Identify Your Core Values
Yes, your core values. If these aren’t clearly embedded in your process, then it will never last or have the impact / produce the results you desire. Your core values are called “core” for a reason - because they should be central to who you are as a person and what you stand, or don’t stand, for. This is a pretty big deal when talking about being patient enough to trust the process. A process centered on our values is worth being patient for. Likewise, urgency will come naturally around these values because we believe in them - they matter to us. So, walking by subpar standards becomes much harder to do.
Define Your Success
The result you are pursuing seems to depend on the situation, position, and role you are in. What you want to achieve is clearly different if you are the manager of a bank or a volunteer for a non-profit organization. We will all have different goals personally, and within our teams. However, goals are different than how we define success. In order to maximize our potential in all areas of life, how we define success must be connected to our core values. Living, being true to our core values is the success we should be striving for.
Develop Your Process
There is a process for everything we do. Our morning routine is a process; conducting a meeting is a process; how we choose to interact with team members is a process. Whatever undertaking you are involved in requires a process to complete it - and all those processes are different. We’re after our personal process here. The one that encourages us to follow our core values, removes distractions and road blocks from our path, and clears the way for our ultimate success.
There is a time and place for both patience and urgency. We need both to be at our best and push our teams to their potential. Recognizing and articulating a core value based process and the aligned results is essential to fulfillment.
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com. We would love to know how we could help!