"I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been."
Wayne Gretzky

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Leadership Notes -- Thoughts on Leading People and Making a Difference in Organizations

Word count this issue: 370

Estimated reading time:  2.15 minutes


Good afternoon from a sunny and warm Sunshine Coast of British Columbia. I’ve had a couple of days of writing (between coaching calls) and am excited about some emerging thoughts. 


One thought has to do with patience. Comedian Lewis CK tells a great story about a fellow passenger’s vocal frustration when the internet access goes down on an airplane.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFsOUbZ0Lr0   CK’s punchline,  ”How quickly the world owes him something he only knew existed 10 seconds ago!” and that gets a huge laugh because we all recognize in our selves increased expectations of speed and corresponding decline in patience. 


One of the most difficult places for patience is in our work of leading. We all fall into this trap at times. A couple of weeks ago during a training session with some middle managers, we had divided the group into triads to do some rehearsal conversations between manager and employee. You know the kind of thing, we used to call them role plays. I was sitting next to one group and the person playing the employee was brilliant in the role. And they were enjoying themselves undercutting the person trying to practice the new learning. After a couple of minutes, I lost my patience and said to the person bravely playing the manager, “can I show you how you might work through this?” She said “yes” gratefully. And so very quickly the person playing the employee had met her match as it were. And all the while I kept thinking to myself, “I should not be doing, I should be coaching!” As long as it would have taken the person playing the manager to get there, that would have been a great investment in her time. By “showing” her I stole her struggle, where she would have learned far more than by watching me. 


The key here is that leadership requires patience. In the midst of a world of instant gratification, we need to remember that key to learning is struggle. 



May this week be one of patience and struggle for us all.