We had a storm come through our city a few weeks ago. I was out running the following morning with my kids and we saw a Bradford Pear tree that had been split in half during the storm. These trees are known to be fast growing. They are also known for being a weak tree as a result of their fast growth, often sustaining significant damage during inclement weather.
I thought about this as it relates to leadership and running a business. Oftentimes we want results right now. The fast growth. The immediate results. We may make short term decisions to the sacrifice of the long term results we’re really after.
We can learn much from the pear tree for our leadership and our business.
6 Advantages of Patience.
1. Character Development. My kids find it curious that character development is somehow always related to a painful growing experience. But it’s true. Being patient develops us in ways nothing else can. We learn to master our impulses and responses when we develop a character of patience. We keep the long term in full view to avoid quick, short-sighted, short-term decisions.
2. Time to Reflect. While we’re waiting, we have time to reflect. Reflecting on a situation, ourselves, others, our goals, life. We move so fast these days we rarely take the time to just be still and reflect. Reflection brings clarity. Being patient allows for time to gain clarity.
3. Develop the Future. When you take the time to be patient and teach others, you’re investing in the future; whether it’s your subordinates, peers, kids or a friend. Developing people takes patience as you allow them to develop at their own pace. You’re making the world a better place by sharing your knowledge in a tangible way. The pay-off is exponential as they in turn, develop others after them. Leaders develop more leaders.
4. Prevents pre-mature growth. Premature growth isn’t sustainable. Just like the Pear tree, if you grow too fast, you may be set up for falling apart when the storms come. We need a strong foundation to support our growth, and that comes from the patience to build well from the beginning.
5. Growth of Appreciation. We appreciate most what we have worked and waited for the longest. Nothing feels better than working hard for something and having it finally come to fruition. We appreciate that reward more than the one that came easily.
6. Encouragement For Others. When we share our story of a time we had to be patient with others, it encourages them to stay the course. We are setting an example that they can follow. They know that all the work, effort, blood, sweat and tears will some day be worth it because of what they saw in us. It’s not really about us anyway