Patience: The Powerful Trait All Accountability Leaders Have
When leaders struggle with company performance, they often want a quick fix. And who can blame them? After all, when it comes to the bottom line, time is of the essence and the faster a solution works, the better the odds of recovery, right? Wrong. For starters, to improve company performance, you’ve got to have the right solution, not necessarily the fastest one. Ideally, you want an accountability system that gets everyone aligned to and focused on the same measures. But then leaders must also call upon and demonstrate patience while implementing the accountability system and new type of leadership that will drive this change down into the organization. Tough as it may be, accountability leaders must remain steadfast in trusting the system as it works its magic. This solution often takes time for it to run like clockwork and for the depth of its impact to be felt. But accountability leaders get this. As Disciplined Leaders, they practice patience, using this vital, personal resource throughout all aspects of implementation and execution and when unexpected setbacks and common challenges arise.
As an accountability leader, you’ll find patience matters when:
Your people fail to meet their goals. Not everyone is going to succeed immediately with your new accountability system. After setting goals within this new approach, some will fall short while others will succeed. If you know you’ve got the right people in the right jobs, be patient with them as they own their situation and take the corrective actions needed. Don’t jump in and try to rescue your people, but do give them the tools, training, and resources they need to hit their targets. Then trust in the system to sort out who can and cannot handle this approach to driving results, letting the ownership and accountability that your people have embraced guide their next steps and, ultimately, their fate.
Pressures tempt you to abandon the course. When you implement a new accountability system, you’ll experience both interior and exterior challenges and setbacks at times. Expect all this, calling upon the willpower and wisdom to maintain a balanced, proactive approach as you stay the course. For example, as discussed in MAP’s new book, “The Disciplined Leader,” simply having a just-do-it attitude when implementing a new system and then expecting smooth sailing can get you into trouble. In fact, it’s downright naïve to think you can institute new directions, policies, or procedures without some mishaps and hardships along the way. Problems will pop up. People will struggle. You may doubt yourself and your own ability to drive this change. But don’t react with impatient, defensive moves. Expect to have problems and challenges. But also prepare for how you’ll manage them. Having proactive plans in place will boost your odds of succeeding and help you to feel less frantic about whatever actions you must take. Knowing you’re staying the course while proactively managing the challenges in your midst will enable greater patience with the process.
The learning curve gets steep. When putting the mechanics of an accountability system into place, there are a lot of moving parts, pieces, and even people. In terms of change, there’s much to learn and absorb. And in all likelihood, the approach to setting goals, measuring progress, developing solutions, and taking appropriate, timely action are all likely different than anything you’ve done in the past. As an accountability leader, don’t let the learning curve or its differences deter or tempt you into reverting back to more comfortable ways of doing things. A steep learning curve is actually quite normal. So be patient with yourself and others as you take your learning higher while pushing the system down farther into your organization. Provide the instruction and coaching that’s needed to implement and execute it effectively.
With accountability leadership, what top-three things put your patience to the test?