Friday, January 16, 2015

Lean Quote: Leader Patience

On Fridays I will post a Lean related Quote. Throughout our lifetimes many people touch our lives and leave us with words of wisdom. These can both be a source of new learning and also a point to pause and reflect upon lessons we have learned. Within Lean active learning is an important aspect on this journey because without learning we can not improve.

"A leader teaches with patience. A manager without patience is no leader.— Rafael Aguayo

Patience is a quality often lacking among today’s leaders. Society expects those in charge to take action quickly and decisively. True leaders recognize that patience enables them to take stock of the situation, to understand what is required, and wait while they build the capacity to take appropriate and effective action. Patience requires composure and character. Societal pressures for action may cause others to criticize and condemn a leader’s perceived inaction or lack of speed. People will first demand action. Then they will demand results. The greater the crisis, the greater the impatience.

By demonstrating patience, leaders reinforce the importance of focusing on the long-term outcomes. Patience doesn’t mean ignoring the interim milestones or short-term deliverable. It does mean keeping them in context.

Many tasks associated with leadership require patience (e.g., strategic planning, negotiations, people development, program management, etc.). The bigger the issue and the longer the planning horizon, the greater the patience required to remain committed. Strategic plans, for example, typically have a long-term time horizon and address big issues that affect an organization. It is easy for a leader to see the desired end-state and want to jump ahead without exercising the patience needed to succeed. Leadership means understanding that patience may require sacrificing short-term glory for long-term results.

Striving for excellence is an ongoing process; it requires a persistent attitude of excellence demonstrated by a continual focus on both the large and small things in our endeavor. Without tenacity, success is just but a far away dream. It is the force originating from within you that seeks to bring out the potential in you and drive you to your destiny.

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