7 Ways to be Impatient Like a Leader

Impatient leaders are like junkies looking for a fix. The drug is results. Unhealthy impatience blows up leaders.

“Slow” is the source of impatience.

  1. Delay.
  2. Repeated mistakes.
  3. Incompetence.
  4. Lack of planning.
  5. Falling short.

frustration caused by wishing things were different diverts energy from making things different

Advantages and disadvantages of impatience:

Goal-driven leaders are prone to impatience. Impatience has it’s advantages.

Impatient leaders:

  1. Feel frustration over lack of progress or disappointing results. Good!
  2. Clarify goals, strategies, and resources.
  3. Find new focus.
  4. Tap into creativity to find new options and solutions.

Lack of maturity makes impatience a hindrance.

Immature impatient leaders:

  1. Justify poor decisions in the name of progress. “Just do something.”
  2. Treat people rudely. Impatient leaders don’t have time to earn influence through relationship.
  3. Compromise values on the altar of forward movement.
  4. Use status and power to coerce people into doing something they don’t believe in.
  5. Lower standards to get something done.

Impatience is disappointment with progress and anxiety over results. Ultimately, the challenge is how you manage impatience, not that you feel it.

7 steps to being impatient like a leader:

  1. Pause and take a breath.
  2. Accept the current state. Frustration caused by wishing things were different diverts energy from making things different.
  3. Overcome tendencies to lean away from uncomfortable topics. One reason impatience grips leaders is they leaned away too long. What are you avoiding?
  4. Clarify and reconnect with the big picture, short-term goals, and next best steps.
  5. Open your ears to people and keep your eyes focused on progress and results.
  6. Scan the landscape for things within your control. Trying to control things you can’t control ignites the frustration of impatience.
  7. Press for progress. Expect your teams to fulfill their responsibilities and live up to their commitments. Expect the same from yourself.

What ignites your impatience?

How are you using impatience for your advantage.

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