When Restraint Takes You Further

Leaders are liars when they say they believe in developing others but don’t display patience. Patience is a gift of trust, humility, and confidence to those who aren’t there yet.

Growth implies potential but potential is a “not yet” term. Development, by definition, suggests inadequacy or lack.

Developing others demands patience.

Impatience, when applied to results, drives leaders and organizations toward success. Impatience with people, however, weakens the team.

Don’t be patient with:

  1. Unethical or immoral behavior.
  2. Lack of effort or laziness.
  3. Low aptitude – reassign.
  4. Repeated failure.
  5. Rebellion.
  6. Destructive attitudes.
  7. Disloyalty.


Patience only has meaning when you could act but don’t. Passivity and fear aren’t patience. Patient leaders intentionally and courageously give space – exercise restraint – for development and growth .

Patient leaders possess trust, humility, and confidence.

  1. Patience is trusting – believing in – the potential of others.
  2. Patience is humbly holding back your knowing in order to facilitate the knowing of others and then celebrating their growth. It never says, “I knew that.”
  3. Patience confidently says, “You have more in you.”

Patience is impatient concerning progress.


Patient leaders put themselves on the line by investing their leadership collateral in potential. Your efforts may not turn out well. Projects may take longer. Invest in those with character, aptitude, and positive attitudes. Assure success by going with:

  1. Openness to learning. Those who already know, have performance potential but don’t have growth potential. People who acknowledge they don’t know have taken the first step toward learning.
  2. Dedication.
  3. Energy.
  4. Intelligence.
  5. Initiative.
  6. Respect. You influence those who respect you.


Go with proven experience on high profile, high risk ventures. Don’t assign someone who’s in the process of development to projects that could crush them or destroy you.

How has the patience of others helped you?

When is impatience in order?

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Post in a picture by Larry Coppenrath: Patient Leadership