Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Leadership: Patience or procrastination


To become an effective leader, one should operate in patience and be patient. Patience is something that should not be confused with procrastination. Patience allows leaders to see the good in others. It allows followers to see the vision of the leader. It allows plans to become actuality and a reality. These are some of the few advantageous to patience. The difference between patience and procrastination is that one (patience) is actively waiting for thoughts to become actions and the other (procrastination) is knowingly not engaging in a behavior expecting a result. Knowing the difference between these two can determine the perceive leader effectiveness in the workplace. How can one measure the amount of patience they have? And how much patience should one exert, especially with a follower? The following link is an attempt to measure the level one has of patience: Dudley (2003). Also, there is no current method to determine when and the amount of patience that should be shown towards an employee or coworker within an organization. Furthermore, as a leader, patience can be shown in various setting e.g. family, home, religious organization, nonprofit organizations, social organization, etc. There may be correlation between patience shown in the workplace and in extracurricular activities.

Dudley (2003) found these factors associated with patience: postponement, punctuality, time urgency, flexibility, capacity for tolerance, self-regulation, self-awareness of extreme, comfort with ambiguity, and limits of tolerance. By focusing on these factors that have been tested for validity and reliability, one may understand the integration of leadership and patience. As a leader, plans do not always unfold the way designed. What does a leader do when plans fail? Leaders exhibit a level of patience and wisdom to navigate around obstacles that may have adjusted the plan. Situational leadership theory provides a more systematic method of dealing with multiple variables within an organization, but not every circumstance is going to provide a set up in which a solution can be calculated through a mathematical equation. How does a leader address a follower or customer with a level of patience that is not mistaken as another inferior emotion? Engaging in purposeful patience is not a ticket to allow someone to treat an individual in a disrespectful manner; however, it is skill that allows the leader to work with a person to achieve the overall goal of the organization.

All in all, patience should not be confused with procrastination. Patience is a skill that takes time to develop. By employing specific behaviors associated with patience (Dudley, 2003), one can be perceived as an effective leader. Patience should not be exercised for selfish gain, but for the achievement of the organizational goal.

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