Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 8.53.25 PMIn the March 2016 Entrepreneur Magazine, there was a great article about  22 Must Have Leadership Qualities.  I found the article to be so powerful that I am spending a few minutes each week thinking about how I can improve these leadership skills myself.  Like most things in life, you get what you focus your attention on.

Here are the leadership qualities I have already discussed:

#1   Focus
#2   Confidence
#3   Transparency
#4   Integrity
#5   Inspiration
#6  Passion
#7  Innovation

When I first saw that “Patience” was next on the list of Entrepreneur Magazine’s “22 Must-Have Leadership Qualities” I have to admit that at first, I was somewhat at a loss on what to write about.  If you know me very well, you know that I like to spend some time analyzing a situation, digesting the facts and then charge forward with a decision and action plan.  No one has ever accused me of taking too long to make a decision or to suffer from “analysis by paralysis”.

However, after reading the quote included in the article, I’m not sure that the way I go about making decisions doesn’t demonstrate patience.  If patience is defined, as it is in this quote, about waiting till the situation represents the right time and place to take action… I can think of a number of decisions where I have demonstrated patience.

The type of patience that is referred to in the article is not the type of patience that you need to have while waiting in line in the TSA line at the airport or dealing with an annoying co-worker.  No, this type of patience that leaders need is the ability to wait for precisely the right time and then take action.

This type of leadership can be best seen in action on the battlefield when a General waits until his troops are in the right position or have the intelligence to know where the enemies weaknesses are before sending an order to engage.

Waiting until the time is right and you have the greatest advantage over  your competition or in a given situation isn’t easy and doesn’t come naturally for many Type A leaders.  The good news for leaders that lack patience is that patience is a discipline and like each of the 22 traits identified by Entrepreneur Magazine can be learned and developed.

Next up – #9 Stoicism.

 

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