Patience As a Form of Action

Mar 22, 2013 1 Comment by

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.


032213 theBigRocks Patience as 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. 

thinker1The thing that struck me about this version of Rodin’s most famous work is that the subject isn’t sitting alone. 


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.


Incoming search terms:

  • patience

Change Agent Skills, Change Communication, Change Execution, Change Leadership, Stakeholder Readiness, Team Dynamics

About the author

I help people and teams succeed with big changes... never a dull moment!

One Response to “Patience As a Form of Action”

Leave a Reply

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.