Patience or Stubbornness?
When it comes to making critical decisions, understanding whether you are being patient or stubborn is of the utmost importance. While patience is actively waiting for something, stubbornness is actively fighting against something.
To outside observers, they look awfully alike in action. Both require inaction as leaders strategize for the future; however, patience presumes changes will occur over time that will reward that inaction, while stubbornness clings to the existing course of action even as the facts change.
Patience is often stubbornness in disguise. Because patience is seen as positively charged and stubbornness is viewed as a flaw, leaders naturally convince themselves that they are being patient, especially when they are truly being stubborn. It comes as no surprise that this can get in the way of making sound decisions.
In the throes of a decision, leaders need to objectively ask themselves whether they are truly open to changing their minds when the facts change. Devotion to an idea is more likely to produce stubborn resolve. So, leaders need to assess their allegiance to an answer or preferred decision. Any doubt of openness reflects that stubbornness has taken control and is driving the bus.
Great decision makers know whether they are being patient or stubborn. While there is nothing wrong with stubbornness now and again, the best leaders are committed to remaining patient with their minds unlocked to new facts. Anything less is a Jedi mind trick.