Leadership Death Knell - Lack of Patience

A colleague reached out and shared that he had lost faith in his leaders.

Why? Because his leaders lacked patience.

You might be saying to yourself, “That’s not the worst thing that could happen. Tell your colleague to buck up.”

Stay with me on this - lack of patience in leadership is a guaranteed death knell.

Here are some reasons why lack of patience is actually a horrendous flat side for leadership, as demonstrated through my colleague’s experience:

  • He did not feel he could have an open conversation with leadership about ideas or concerns (because he didn’t know what would set off a tirade).

  • He didn’t feel safe to make mistakes. This meant he was in a constant state of turmoil and stress reviewing and rechecking everything to make sure there were no mistakes, and if one was made, he felt the need to cover it up, or minimize it.

  • He shied away from asking questions to prevent feeling incompetent or stupid by hearing leadership responses along the lines of, “I thought we went over this already,” or “Shouldn’t you know this?”

So here is what lack of leadership patience leads to: an employee who shies away from innovation, is secretly sweating bullets and looking for another job while trying to appear calm and in control on the surface (a.k.a. STRESSED), with a leadership team who is clueless about the true state of their area of responsibility.


In short, lack of patience leads to leadership being completely out of touch with their employees and blinded to what is really going on.

This is a recipe for implosion. Something‘s got to give, and statistically speaking it’s likely going to be in the form of turnover costs.

Authentic leaders understand the importance of patience and take steps to increase patience. This results in self-control and ultimately a happier employee following (and you).

The good news is that patience can be built. The next blog will cover practical ways you can expand your patience threshold.


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