3 Reasons We “Need a Little Patience, Yeah”

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Leadership: Develop Unlimited Talent

Photo credit: Ed Vill

I was 11 years old walking around the field of our elementary school, sharing my Walkman earbuds with a friend, listening to Axl Rose telling us we “need a little patience, yeah”. I’m sure my ability to demonstrate patience wasn’t all that impressive as a pre-teen about to start high school.

Today, living on an island and now in the 40+ category with two little kids – patience isn’t so much a virtue as a necessity.

As Islanders, we have ferries and water taxis to await, we have trades people that are hard to come by, we have just the one “cable guy” to get us back online, we have power outages that last a while, and groceries and supplies that aren’t necessarily available “on island”. As parents, we have teeth brushing to watch over, “just one last time” rebuttals to get over, and family board-games to master.

I’m intentional about taking a deep breath to remind myself to take it all in stride because I’ve seen the benefits of doing so. When we are required to slow down for a moment or two, between the busy hustle of our days, some incredible things happen:

1. We have conversations we might not otherwise have. I’ve learned from the moments patiently waiting on or for ferries that unexpected conversations can lead to all kinds of unexpected places. I once connected with a fellow passenger on the water taxi about Vantage Point’s learning offerings. At the time, we didn’t have a cohort offering for emerging leaders. Later on, that same passenger joined Vantage Point’s knowledge philanthropist team to volunteer his time to develop the content and co-facilitate the first two rounds of our Leadership Principles program!

2. We take a moment to reflect on the day that is set before us grounding ourselves in new perspective and positive intention for the day. It’s in those quiet moments, when I’m sitting being “patient” that I come up with a story to share at my morning facilitation or think of a piece I read that might be worth sharing with a colleague contemplating a challenge.

3. We offer up leadership to others. Someone else might respond to that urgent email or a team member might solve their own challenge: I’ll never forget a LeaderShift participant who was asked how they carved out time for strategic thinking amidst a never-ending list of urgent and important tasks. The participant shared one of their key strategies – they never rushed to answer an email. In his experience, if he was patient in his response, others would rise to the challenge!

What amazing moments have you enjoyed thanks to a little patience?!

About the Author

After working in London and completing her MBA at INSEAD in France and Singapore, Maria Turnbull joined Vantage Point’s team in 2006. Rooted in the not-for-profit sector through numerous leadership roles with the British and Canadian Red Cross Societies, OXFAM and Amnesty International, Maria loves...

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