How patient do you need to be?

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How patient do you need to be?

As a leader you will almost certainly feel a degree of pressure at some point when delivering change.

When this happens it can feel as if you’re the only one up for what it’s going to take to achieve the outcomes your organisation is looking for.

And it can be very lonely to feel you’re the only one who seems prepared to put in the hours and push through the work required.

But what if a different approach would get you results more easily and quickly?

In this blog I’ll look at how choosing to be patient can play a critical role when leading change and I’ll propose 3 strategies you can use to increase your feeling of being in control while delivering successful outcomes.

The topic of patience struck me as I was watching a group of pelicans the other day, seemingly lining up for the parts of their catch fisherman were throwing back into the sea.

As you can see from the photo there was a relaxed calmness to this process.

This struck me as odd, in my experience birds typically squabble over food, but not with this crowd. Maybe these pelicans have learnt one of three helpful life lessons:

1. Decide what to expend energy on / what to fight for

Is there any point in using up energy in trying to queue jump, or get ahead of others? Maybe yes, often no, especially if the energy I’ll use up on this battle may not leave any spare for an opportunity that matters more.

2. There are always options / choices

What other choices are there, and how does this one compare? There may or may not be a free feed coming up but if not, then there literally are more fish in the sea. Why risk injury or strife if another option is to go and find fresh fish for yourself?

3. What will be, will be

If a piece of fish flies my way, I can catch it with my enormous beak, but if not, is it worth getting agitated? Sometimes life gives and other times it takes away, going with the flow more often means I can conserve my energy for the times it really matters.

Thank you for indulging my musings as to what drives pelicans! But now we’re down that path what if we extrapolate these points into our world?

1. Decide what to expend energy on / what to fight for

We all can, and often do, waste an enormous amount of energy thinking about what’s not gone well, repeating slights and injustices against us, and worrying about things that are completely out of our control.

Take some time each day to consider what activities you are expending energy on. Are you spending most time on the areas that are going to make the greatest impact – the well know 80/20 rule?

This is particularly important with regards to emotional energy which is often the most in demand in situations of rapid or significant change.

2. There are always options / choices –

I can remember a time I felt completely trapped in my job, with seemingly no choices. A wise colleague counselled “Virginia, you always have choices” At the time I disagreed vehemently, but many months later I saw the truth in his comment.

When we’re caught up in a situation it can be very hard to look for other ways dealing with it. Speak with trusted colleagues, a coach or mentor to help you open up your thinking.

3. What will be, will be –

There are many many things we can’t control in our world. The truth is that the only one we truly have any say over is how we choose to think and react to what happens.

Take time to reflect as to how you use your valuable time and energy and what you might want to let go of to focus more on the opportunities that really matter to you.

How do you stay patient and manage your energy?

Please leave your thoughts and comments below or email me at [email protected] I would love to hear from you.

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