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Take The Leadership Challenge (Part 2)

Written by: David Campbell, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Following on from my last article, “The Leadership Challenge I felt it necessary to bring a few more thoughts based on what I see in the leaders that I coach. Being an exceptional leader is about continual growth. Making the time to personally reflect and adjust yourself to become better.

Serious young man and his female colleague looking at a laptop working at the office. .

Take some time to reflect on the following 6 traits of a leader.

1. Leaders need to be patient

Patience is a by-product of waiting. I hate waiting, with a passion. It seems to be an unproductive time. Even inconvenient. The question I pose is not about the waiting but about how we respond, act and perform during the waiting time. What is our attitude to waiting? Does waiting frustrate us or do we use the time to grow personally and professionally?

Consider if you will, a situation when you have been required to wait for long periods of time. Think about the experience. What did you feel? How did you react? What did you learn from the experience?

2. Waiting can be a hard experience

Many years ago, our daughter fell off a trampoline and broke her arm. Badly enough that it needed surgery to insert wires that would hold the bones in place until they healed. I felt frustration, anger and helplessness at a lack of control, among other things. These emotions experienced during the long wait in the ER for a decision to be made, then the wait while the surgery was conducted, then for her to come out of the anesthetic, followed by months of convalescence while the arm healed, taught me that I needed to develop patience. I needed to allow the rough edges to be worn off so I could build my character.

3. You can get distracted in the waiting

If you are anything like me, you can be waiting for something and as the time goes by, you start to focus on other things.

A great example is waiting on the phone queue for service. The music so loved by the hearing impaired in the 1930’s adds to the waiting experience. So, you put the phone on speaker and start to utilize your time gainfully doing something else. Suddenly, the person comes on the other end and in that instant you can’t actually remember why you rang in the first place.

It is not that you have given up being patient, but life needs to go on and you need to address other issues while waiting. Then all of a sudden the thing you are waiting for happens and you have forgotten that you were actually waiting. You have lost the focus on your vision.

4. Don’t let the wait frustrate

There is nothing more frustrating than having to wait when you don’t know why. If someone is waiting for you, the best thing you can do is communicate with them. Have you ever heard the line “Your call has progressed in the queue. Your call is important to us and we will get to you as soon as we can.” To me, that has to be one of the worst attempts at communicating with a client.

The point is that if you are waiting, don’t let the wait frustrate. Often, there are valid reasons as to why the wait is happening and it won’t be the fault of the person to whom you ultimately talk.

5. The hardest thing is seeing others pass you

Have you ever been in the queue at the movies? Standing in line to purchase your ticket then, a person arrives in the express lane. They get called over and served while you continue to wait.

At this point, remember that they have paid a price to get that service. A price that you have not paid.

The same holds with your business. You see similar businesses tracking past you and winning those contracts or saying how busy they are. Remember that they have paid a price. It may have been the hard yards of cold calls, the preparation of a proposal that they worked on until 2 am. Whatever it is, they have paid a price. Are you willing to pay that same price to see the acceleration?

If we look at them, we start to compare ourselves to them and start to consider our own faults and failures. Remember, they have paid a price to move forward.

6. While you wait, things may have to die

We can really learn from waiting. It gives us time to think and reflect. Can I challenge you to take the opportunity the next time you are waiting to stop and reflect on your situation? Instead of allowing anger and frustration to rule you and your reaction, allow the experience to rub off the rough edges of your character. Learn from the experience. Allow yourself to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and the softening of your heart.

Next time you have to wait, take the time to reflect on what you can do to grow and increase during the waiting. Allow your leadership style and potential to grow, develop and mature. Welcome the opportunity to develop greater character rather than an attitude of frustration and annoyance.

As I close my thoughts, I hope that you have been able to take some points of personal improvement from our discussion. This article has been much more reflective. You are a leader in the making. Having a vision for your life is the starting point to the leadership journey. The type of leader you become depends greatly on the experiences you have and the lessons you learned during your life journey. Remember, leaders grow through their intentional reflection on themselves. John C Maxwell refers to this as the Law of the Lid. Allow the experiences of life to knock off the rough edges and grow you as an individual and leader. Above all, stay focused on the vision. It will carry you through the tough times and allow you to celebrate as you see goals achieved.

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David Campbell, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

David is an exceptionally experienced executive coach. He is an exceptional public speaker who challenges the way organisations and individuals think in relation to business and life. has led reform within a number of organisations and brings a unique understanding of the pressures in both the public and private sectors. He understands the changing requirements and time frames within the business environment and has considerable experience in leading, managing and coaching geographically dispersed (remote) teams. David brings a new insight into the way we think into our success in business to realise exceptional results.



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