I am often asked what is the most valuable tool a leader can possess and I respond that patience has to be at the top of the list. Leaders inspire a group to achieve a goal. Success is dictated by how well the team works together to achieve that goal or objective. A team is truly ‘as strong as the weakest link.’ An impatient leader who does not take into account the different skill set of the individuals comprising the team will fail. This is where patience enters the picture.
Each time I am assigned a new team to supervise, I take a considerable amount time to get to know the team members. I know ultimate success is dictated by each member working together within that team. I am training and teaching them to be problem solvers by empowering and trusting them. Does this take longer than usual to achieve a desired result? Initially yes, but not in the long run. By having the patience to develop team members, I help to create an environment where each individual feels they are contributing and can solve minor issues that I do not have to deal with. This allows me to focus on larger and more complex goals. The team starts to grow because of the time I took to create a culture of empowerment and trust.
Look at any successful corporation today. You will discover an infrastructure where management has learned to invest in the ‘front end’ to develop this empowerment/trust/problem solving culture. That is why they are successful. They know that by having patience in the beginning it yields incredible rewards down the road. Patience is a key secret to sustainable growth.
Corporations are not comprised of flow charts, pie charts, or lines on a graph. They are comprised of people who work to achieve a common goal or objective. The people are the most precious commodity. Why not invest the time at the beginning to fully develop that asset? Have patience; it will pay off!