Patience – but I want results!!!

I read of a survey the other day of hundreds of working professionals (in the US) during the recent lockdown. Average age of the participants was 39 with most in Managerial roles themselves. The survey showed that when their leaders showed a degree of patience with them it had a hugely powerful and positive effect on their willingness to be creative, more productive and collaborative.

The agile, digitally led world we live in probably facilitates a ‘quick fix’ mentality more than any other time in our business history but how should leaders behave?

We are running a number of Webinars at present with our professional business partners and a lot of what we are talking about in the Webinars revolves around Leadership and the huge difference that great leaders make to business outcomes. We know that there are a number of qualities required to become a great leader and we also know that leadership can be trained if the desire is there from the individual to LEARN those skills. But where does patience come into this?

Crises like the one we are facing at present will cause employees to panic, to feel that ‘everything is going wrong’, ‘my job prospects look bleak’ etc. It’s natural for a leader to worry too, let’s be candid, in many SME’s it is the leader’s business that is on the line! That said the good leader will confine those thoughts to their head and demonstrate a composed approach to the situation, always remaining calm even in the most stressful situations. By doing this, others remain calm and things get done more effectively. They will value the steadying influence the leader has brought to the situation and respect the leader for that.

It’s easy to want ‘the quick fix’ isn’t it? ‘We need more new customers now – let’s up our Social Media activity’ – ‘We need more sales – let’s discount some prices’ – but these are purely short term inadequate solutions that are not thought through and will only dig deeper holes for the business. They are as Jim Collins has put it in one of his great books ‘Grasping for Salvation’. Don’t do this!! Patience is needed to understand that the right solutions and changes in business practice or process take time and this must be built into the planning timeframe. The digital world may be hyper-speed but recognise that effective change will take some time and cannot be an instant fix.

Research breaks leadership down into two basic sets of behaviours – task-oriented and relationship-oriented. The best leaders consistently strike a balance between the two. The balanced approach facilitates the future by bringing people along on the journey, motivated and driven and empowered to find solutions.

This takes time. Patience will help enormously here because when looking forward a leader needs patience to explaining her/ is vision to people that may or may not “get it” right away or have doubts about the vision’s viability and will naturally ask questions that might test the leader’s patience. By being prepared to explain, again, ensuring that the message is understood, commitment will be obtained from the group and this will obviously provide better mid – long term results.

As a leader recognise when and where your patience could be tested the most. With big challenges coming be more mindful about increasing your efforts to stay calm.

For practical and experienced help with your Leadership and Business challenges get in touch with us on, call on 0116 232 5231
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David Turner
Managing Director
07747 023610