By May 4, 2023 No Comments

Patience is a virtue, but also an excellent Leadership Skill often misunderstood.


There are many words we proudly use to describe our leadership style or enjoy hearing how others describe us as leaders.

A leadership competency profile describes the “right stuff” a leader must have to get the job done. They are filled with words that often describe a decisive, take-charge type of leader.

Competencies are characteristic behaviors associated with strong and effective performance in organizational roles. They are actual, delivered behaviors. When such behaviors are delivered, they result in good organizational outcomes. They are also the behaviors that distinguish superior performance from threshold performance.

Most competency models contain 8-10 competencies at the leadership level. The idea is to identify the few critical competencies that will make the difference. The trick is to have a Goldilocks competency profile (not too few, not too many but just right). What we are after is identifying the critical few that really will drive the business.

Patience is one of the least understood skills and characteristics of leadership and generally does not make these competency profile lists. I realized through my own experience that we may not always have the necessary time or all the information needed to make a completely informed decision. My experience, however, has also taught me that this is more of an exception and not the rule.

Why does this “belief that we need to make decisions quickly” happen more times than necessary? Because we use words like decisive, aggressive, action-oriented, focused as the power words to describe success. While these are important leadership skills and traits, we need to take a closer look and understand the role of patience in our skill set.

One of the least understood characteristics of working together in an organization is the skill to know when there is a need for patience on the part of the leader, who is charged with the responsibility to make the final decision, even when there is pressure to “make the decision.”

Here is a common example. We often have key individuals, who we trust and respect their judgment with diametrically opposed points of view, which are well-thought-out points of view. As
leaders, we are often asked to make the final decision. Often, this feels like a judicial session vs. a brainstorming session. This is when I believe patience becomes a strength and not a weakness. We can challenge each of them to “not stop at their first right answer,” and to look past it, to see if there is a more inclusive answer that keeps everyone involved in the solution
and takes us a step further. This only happens when we exercise patience in the process. In my experience, we often will get a third answer that will create the ultimate win, win, win and keep everyone involved.

Working together works because it is the opposite of the judicial process where we are picking winners and losers. It is all about conversation, research, being open-minded, and the desire to
spark a broad-minded fresh start. Patience used wisely will lead you, your leaders, and your organization to become Broad-based Leaders who play a variety of leadership roles (for example, driving, delegating, supporting, empowering, collaborating, and coaching). This process inspires others to perform at their best and creates a climate that fosters personal investment, excellence, and teamwork. Through your patience and inclusion, it sets the tone and allows the pursuit of aggressive goals.

Although it feels counterintuitive, patience drives results and creates both a learning and performance environment and high-energy leaders that can lead to cultural change.

We have launched Season 6 of the Leadership Library Podcast, where
we discuss many of these topics.



For more information visit our website https://www.3sixtymanagementservices.com/. My book,
Tighten The Lug Nuts, will also serve as a workbook for these important topics and discussions.

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Visit our web site, https://3sixtymanagementservices.com, as well as my
book, Tighten The Lug Nuts, for additional information.

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