I know it is difficult – 3 Secrets to Waiting Patiently

Making a radical change is often so exciting that it is hard to wait for the perfect time to take the action.  Even as savvy business leaders, we are tempted to act too quickly causing three problems – we either execute the right action too soon, take the wrong  action because we are too impatient or give up, saying it isn’t worth the time.

Whether we are an aspiring or emerging leader, I have found these three secrets valuable in working toward a radical change.  Which one do you find most valuable?

Secret #1.

Remind yourself why you are waiting. Sometimes the project requires waiting for a specific time or until the conditions are right.  Acting too soon will ruin the opportunity so we simply have to wait.  But at that point, it is our choice whether we are patient or not.

I remember watching the farmers anxiously waiting to get into the fields after a wet spring.  The conditions frustrated them as they knew crops needed to be planted by a certain time to get the best harvest.  But sometimes the weather didn’t cooperate.  So what could they do?  Some tried to push it and made the situation worse.  They got stuck in the mud and often broke equipment  that caused further frustration, cost and ridicule.  Their impatience was reactionary instead of strategic and they paid dearly for it.  Meanwhile, those savvy farmers knew that those rainy spring days allowed them to do things that they wouldn’t have time to do once the sun shined and the temps rose.

When conditions delay action, wait patiently and don’t rush into action.

Secret #2. 

Anticipate delays.  Seasoned leaders know that new projects rarely meet deadlines so they build in anticipated delays.  Meanwhile,  others passionately push forward and are frustrated when the delays occur.

I have to admit that I made this mistake in building my new leadership training platform, Leveraging Leadership Power.  In my rush to design the program, I cast the best case scenario.  I knew better as i have coached many through a new program.  Yet there were other factors that I ignored in favor of the dazzling finish.  So when the delays occurred as I knew they would in other situation, I was frustrated.  In the end, the delays were wise as they gave us an opportunity to edit and improve to make a stellar program.  Without the delays and it would have been far less valuable for my future clients.

Save yourself a lot of frustration by strategically anticipating delays. 


Secret #3. 

Have a backup plan.  If we are waiting for someone to do what they agreed to do but yet they are not doing it, that is when we need a backup plan.

I remember rehearing in Carnegie Hall for a mass choir concert.  One of the soloists was late.  The conductor called but they were not there.  He asked if anyone had seen her arrive.  No one had.  He looked to his assistant and said, “Get the replacement.”  In just a couple moments, the replacement was performing.  The conductor knew his overhead cost of renting the hall, paying a full orchestra and other performers.  He could not afford to wait so he had a backup plan.

Have a backup plan waiting when waiting is too costly. 

3D PWR Tip: Save yourself the grief, learn the secrets to waiting patiently.

(C) 2016 Murfield International, Inc.

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NSA logoDr. Loren Murfield works with aspiring and emerging leaders to disrupt their careers, organizations and personal lives so they can realize the ultimate opportunities.  Are you wondering how you can leverage your power to make those radical changes? Contact Dr. Murfield today.

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One thought on “I know it is difficult – 3 Secrets to Waiting Patiently

  1. Great article, Loren! Secret #1 is what was relevant for us. As we build a program that delivers results for couples who work together, it truly requires patience and a willingness to be all in even when the ROI is less than fabulous 🙂 Thanks for the reminders…

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