I’ve been told – as most leaders are told during their careers – that taking action is critical to success.
We’re rewarded for doing.
We’re rewarded for results.
The unfortunate flip side of this prejudice for action is that leaders are not typically rewarded for stopping and thinking before taking action.
I’ve also noticed that as a Change Agent, sometimes the most effective action to take is to step back and exercise a little patience.
I snapped this picture of Rodin’s “The Thinker” a few years ago in the sculpture garden of the Rodin Museum in Paris. There are several copies of “The Thinker” there – and more in museums around the world.
He’s embedded in the freakish cacophony of Dante’s Inferno. He’s surrounded by noise, anguish… and fruitless activity. His patience stands in stark contrast to his surroundings.
I’ll bet a lot of leaders have felt like this character at times.
So when things get crazy and everyone is screaming at you to take action, consider doing the opposite.
I’m not promoting inactivity as much as I’m reflecting on all the times when I paused in the middle of a huge screaming mess and exercised a little patience before taking action.
I can’t think of a single time I’ve regretted the decision to exercise patience as a form of action.
Just a thought.
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