Leading with Patience
– By #MillerSD
Last week, I tackled a task that took every effort of my patience. This task wasn’t business expansion, business retention, revolving loan fund, housing, or public speaking related. I successfully finished fixing On Hand Development email issues with Google. This may not sound like a big deal to many but for us it was a huge win. I am not techy…. not even a little. I waited on hold with google for over three hours, worked with techy people who didn’t speak my language, and lost several emails that I will never get back. The whole situation really got me thinking about patience and how effective leaders need to practice patience.
I didn’t want to give up the email problem and start all over because so much of our world is in our email. We have accounts that are set up to our email, important files, scheduling, and even email threads that we need to get our work done. I knew that if we started all over, it would take us even more time to start with a brand-new email. Patience is something that I have been working on for years. I was at a conference one time where the speaker started with, “We need to slow down to get the work done faster.” That quote has really stuck with me. I have been one who tries and goes a hundred miles per hour to get things done as fast as possible. I am learning to slow down to make sure it gets done faster and it is working.
Patience in leadership is a quality often misunderstood by many. 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.
It’s not just my email that I have been patient with. Economic Development is a marathon not a sprint and our projects take a long to complete. Selling businesses takes time and patience, housing takes time and patience, starting businesses takes time and patience, managing and continuing a loan fund takes time and patience and creating and sustaining relationships takes time and patience. Great leaders have patience and so do great organizations.
I see all of the wonderful accomplishments On Hand has been a part of and I am so proud that the great leaders before me led with patience. I am so glad that the On Hand leads with patience. I am so thankful that the City of Miller and Hand County Commissioners leads with patience in their discussion making.
Give our leaders the time they need to make the right decisions for our community and take the steps necessary. I know I am glad that I am taking the time to get things do faster. Keep leading with patience, Hand County. We are doing good work here and good work takes time.