The 4 Secrets of Graceful Leadership That Propel You to the Next Level

Passive patience disappoints. Grace sweetens bitter.

Patience with people is:

  1. Accepting slower than expected progress.
  2. Withholding negative consequences for disappointing performance.
  3. Making room to learn from mistakes.
  4. Allowing poor performance with the view of improvement and growth.
  5. Realizing that everyone isn’t good at everything. Exploring reassignment or job crafting.
  6. Permitting time for people to find their greatest contribution.
Cranberry Tea

Grace sweetings bitter.

John Baldoni writes that grace, “… is the disposition to do something more for others.” He goes on, “Grace is the essence of life that enables us to see the world not simply as a place for us but rather a place for all of us.”

4 Secrets of graceful leadership:

#1. Grace is more than patience:

5 ways grace exceeds patience.

  1. Patience withholds. Grace gives.
  2. Patience permits. Grace provides.
  3. Patience tolerates. Grace innovates.
  4. Patience is restraint. Grace is intervention.
  5. Patience is reactive. Grace is proactive.

#2. Grace is about the giver.

Do the graceful thing because it’s who you are, not for benefits you might receive. However, in a world of limited time and growing opportunity, focus grace – when possible – on responsive people. (Read, Give and Take, by Adam Grant)

An open heart takes you further than a clenched fist.

Image of a little girl looking through a heart-shaped hole in a fense.

An open heart takes you further than a clenched fist.

#3. Grace doesn’t obligate.

Generosity with strings is manipulation. Kindness that imposes obligation is barter.

Seek the best for others. Appreciation may return to you. It may not.

Think of grace as a gift. Grace that focuses on response from recipients ends up frustrated and disappointed.

Employee turn-over is one area where leaders learn to be graceful. You pour into someone who leaves. Now what? Grace keeps pouring out after disappointment.

#4. Grace corrects.

The point of graceful correction is improvement, not punishment. Consequences co-exist with grace. “You fell short. How can I help?”

Grace is the context of high performance, not the endorsement of incompetence.

What does graceful leadership look like from your perspective?