PATiENCE … THE SKiLL OF WAiTiNG*

PATiENCE … THE SKiLL OF WAiTiNG*

* The little “i” is intentional — emphasizing the way great Christian leaders make their best decisions … by keeping their ego in check, praying, restraining their innate reflex for action, and balancing their wisdom with the ideas of others.

When you approach one of the lines at the store, do you try to choose the one that will go the fastest and then keep watching the other lines to confirm you made the right decision?

When you drive in traffic, do you try to figure out which lane is going the fastest, but before moving over try to remember a car in another lane so you can make certain your lane is better?

When trying to push your company to greater success, do you have a habit of moving too fast, too early, or without fully considering the risks?

It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. (Proverbs 19:2)

Transformational leaders wait just long enough to get things right.  

The skill of waiting, in contrast to the habit of procrastinating due to laziness, can be one of the best competencies of a great leader.

Implementation Ideas: 

  1. Pray with an open mind on the decision for 3 days. Do not ask for a specific outcome. Instead ask for wisdom, that the right “door” be opened, and the wrong paths be blocked. You will get an answer to go, stop, or wait. Any answer is good.  Accept the answer and move on.
  2. Before making any major commitment… write down in clear, specific ways the 7 most significant risks the decision will create. Can you and/or your company survive 1 or more of those risks?
  3. Create a candid list of pros and cons to making the decision one way or another.
  4. Work with others involved in the decision to develop 5-7 alternative approaches and weigh the risk/rewards of those options.
  5. Meet with 3 trusted advisors, 2 that are strong enough to say you are wrong and 1 wise enough to say you are right. Consider the counsel of these people in light of your conclusions from above, and keep in mind that these counselors, no matter how wise, do not necessarily overrule what you feel God is encouraging (or even requiring) you to do. 
  6. Once a decision is made, implement a pilot to limit risk. Jim Collins puts it another way: Fire bullets first.  Save the cannonballs until you’re sure you have zeroed-in on your target.