I know that watching the water won’t make it boil in less time. I watch it anyway.
I know that pressing the button over again won’t make the elevator show up any faster. I keep pressing it anyway.
I want everything done now. No, wait. Now is too late. What’s taking you so damn long?!
I’m not good with slow, incremental movements. I want things to move quickly.
I never listen to podcasts at anything less than 1.5x speed. I also learned how to read faster and get through over 70 books per year.
I am impatient. But I hide it well.
I’m the most patiently impatient person you’ll ever meet.
When I have a goal, I don’t always expect realistic timelines. I mostly want things done yesterday.
Am I annoying you yet?
Talk About the Passion
The definition of impatience is the feeling of frustration you get when the actual timeline is slower than your desired timeline.
In today’s day and age, we are used to immediate gratification. We are used to fast timelines. So when it’s even the slightest bit slow, impatience can be triggered pretty quickly.
Taking a mere 30 seconds for a webpage to load? That will most likely trigger such massive upheaval, your social media manager will need some emotional support.
A former boss and I used to get into arguments about how to grow the company and manage employees.
We would push each other’s thinking. It got heated. We weren’t quite yelling at each other but… well… we probably were yelling.
Inevitably, at the end of these heated debates, we’d both settle down and apologize.
We’d acknowledge that our reasons for arguing were due to our respective passions for growing the business. We both wanted to grow faster and we were both passionate about it.
We wanted to make changes immediately but the changes we needed to make took time. We were impatient. That impatience fueled our passion.
The Impatience of Leadership
Impatience gets a bad rap. But impatience is not always a bad thing. It depends on how you manifest it.
When you are feeling impatient, you are actually standing at a crossroad. You can easily go down the path of flailing in frustration; yelling screaming and making everybody walk on eggshells.
What does that accomplish? Probably nothing productive.
But there’s another path. With just a little bit of effort, impatience can easily morph into passion. That is the more productive path.
The most successful leaders transform their impatience into passion, which easily translates to motivation and inspiration.
Inspired people are happy people. They are productive and effective people. So turning impatience to inspiration is, y’know, a good thing.
Great companies are built on the backs of impatient leaders who have had the wherewithal to turn their impatience into passion-filled inspiration.
Frustration vs Passion
Don’t understand the difference between frustrated and passionate impatience? Check this out.
Let’s say a leader was just told that a product launch will be delayed.
Option 1 is the frustrated leader. They will immediately go off on a rant:
“What do you mean you’re delayed?! No!! That’s unacceptable. We need it done faster. You have to work harder! You need to get it done NOW! Whatever it takes. I don’t care if you have to work nights and weekends. Do it!!”
Then there’s Option 2, the inspirational leader. Here’s the same scenario turning impatience to inspiration:
“I love the product you’re creating. It’s really coming along and I’m so excited about it. What can we do to accelerate our timeline? I’d love your ideas.”
As you can see, the first impatient leader is anxious about not meeting the deadline. Their response is to instill fear
The second, however, has the same anxiety but focuses on the positive and engages the employees in working together to come up with a solution. The second leader inspires, empowers, and motivates others to be more effective.
How are you handling your impatience? Are you turning it into inspiration or frustration?
I surely hope you’re doing better than me.
(and don’t call me Shirley)
Somewhat Relevant Quote
“Patience is the art of concealing your impatience.“ at whatever cost.
Guy Kawasaki, Speaker, Author, Evangalist
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