On April 12, 1945 the United States welcomed our 33rd President into the White House. His name was Harry S. Truman. President Truman’s presidency was characterized by one simple statement: “The Buck Stops Here”. This one statement communicated everything that President Truman represented – a leadership style that didn’t beat around the bush, but was very straightforward. He understood the fact that ultimately, the top dog needs to know what he/she wants. This is still such a valuable characteristic in leadership 60 years later, but I believe there is a characteristic that should balance making quick, decisive decisions. Patience.
Patience is knowing when to make a decision and when to wait. Understanding that maybe the best decision right now is to wait. Take for example the numerous U.S. Presidents serving throughout the Cold War. If they had not possessed this trait, we would have surely experienced World War III. Patience is understanding it might be a good thing to move on this now, but in wisdom we’re going to wait for something great. Patience is knowing that what I see in front of me doesn’t completely fit what I want, so I’ll wait. Because a quick response isn’t always the right response.
Now this is not an excuse for procrastination. Patience is purposeful, not lazy. Patience is knowing you can make a decision right now and be finished with this issue, but you wait because you know there’s something better.
As you lead today, don’t always be in such a hurry to make a rushed decision. Sometimes you just have to wait. Sometimes you need to wait. Sometimes patience is a virtue.