David Sluss is an executive educator, scholar, and Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior at Georgia Institute of Technology Scheller College of Business. He joins Marcel Schwantes to explore the virtue of patience and why it is something we need to actively practice.
Kelly Merbler, Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, leadership development consultant, keynote speaker, and principal of The Kelly Merbler Company, joins Marcel for post-conversation commentary.
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- We often talk about patience as an abstract concept. However, patience is a leadership powerhouse. Unfortunately, instead of modeling patience, most leaders value speed and urgency. This makes them demand unrealistic deadlines of themselves and their employees, causing unnecessary stress. [2:30]
- Good leaders are creative, collaborative, and productive. Patience amplifies these positive traits. According to David’s research, without patience there is no relationship between being a visionary leader (task-focused) and a participative leader (relational-focused). [6:00]
- David defines patience as “the propensity to act calmly in the face of frustration and adversity… “Patience within leadership [means] you’re still acting, engaging and doing things, but you’re doing them calmly [in the face of frustration and adversity].” [11:00]
- The best way to come up with ideas in a remote workplace environment is to have each individual contributor brainstorm on their own and then pool everyone’s ideas together. [15:45]
- David talks about what patience looks like in leadership. During mid-April, “my manager specifically allowed each contributor to speak with him one on one to address any concerns,” David shares. “He allowed us to relax deadlines and constraints that wouldn’t normally be relaxed… patience meant we focused on what was prioritized and needed to go slow [in order] to go fast.” [19:00]
- A lack of impulse control is what usually leads to impatience, David claims. “We’re just waiting, not acting calmly, and we’re not doing anything,” he says. This lack of action urges us to want to act and so we move forward without control. [23:15]
- Marcel asks David how leaders can design a team for patience. David advises leaders to implement check-ins into team processes. This allows team members to slow down to go fast, and encourages them to act calm when conflict arises. Additionally, these check-ins provide opportunities to consistently re-prioritize tasks to ensure that the purpose or vision is being adjusted as time goes on, which is beneficial in times of crisis. [29:30]
- Kelly Merbler talks about her personal struggle with being patient. “I have a high sense of urgency,” she shares, “and when patience comes in it takes me off the natural flow [I have] of creating momentum.” [42:35]
- Marcel comments that losing your patience is detrimental, because it drudges up other emotions like anger and resentment, and that can cause people to lose trust in you. [46:30]
- As leaders, you don’t attract what you want; you attract who you are. If you are impatient, you attract more impatience to your team. [48:20]
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