LEADER’S FIELD GUIDE
As a kid, my young peers and I proudly accepted the challenge set forth by Tootsie Roll, Inc: “How many licks does it take to reach the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?” I could get to fifteen or twenty licks before I’d start crunching my way through the yummy cherry-flavored candy to get to the soft chocolaty center! It would seem that I didn’t really care about the number of licks– I can only tell you, it’s more than twenty. That answer didn’t satisfy students at Purdue University and University of Michigan who conducted formal experiments using automated licking machines.
“Patience is a key element of success.” ~ Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft
Some goals are only attained one lick at a time. One day, one sacrifice, one disappointment, and one small victory at a time! Time is the great equalizer. How we spend our time and how we behave during that time separates hopeful individuals from courageous leaders. Small steps are required to complete large meaningful efforts.
Yeah, yeah, patience is important, especially in leadership. But, who has time to wait for:
- Knowing: Isn’t it amazing how much angst not knowing creates? It’s almost harder to wait quietly for results or decisions than it is to put your head down and work on a difficult task. What is it you want to do, think, and feel while you wait patiently?
- Enjoyment: We must get comfortable with the now: the part in between here and there. If we are truly miserable while waiting, then it’s likely we won’t be satisfied when the ultimate goal is achieved. What can you accept that would make you happier, right now?
- Focus: Waiting can be taxing, not to mention the discipline and sacrifice required to achieve success. Sometimes, we want to just give up. Consider what you are waiting for… Is it really worth it? If so, go for it! If not, shift your valuable focus elsewhere.
For some, waiting is easy and patience is just part of being comfortable through the whole long, drawn out, lovely process. Who has time to be patient? We do! If not now, when? The challenge of using our time wisely is a culmination of the small decisions we make on a daily basis. It’s a commitment to just one more try, another tactic, a little more effort, or one more lick to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop. A little here and a little there adds up! (…And, we don’t need engineering students at institutions of higher learning to prove it.)
“All great achievements require time.” ~ Maya Angelou, American Poet
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Bible says about Waiting. —
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Michelle Sugerman (PMP, PCC) is a speaker, author, and leadership coach with Leading Synergies. She founded Synergy Groups, virtual masterminds connecting all Christians, everywhere, for the purpose of Community, Accountability, Transformation, and Leadership. She also partners with high-performers and heirs-apparent especially in the STEM industries. Michelle’s formal background in technology, franchise, and project management gives her an edge on implementing best practices and scaling towards sustainable success. Michelle lives in Colorado where she hikes fourteeners and enjoys gourmet meals with her loving husband of 23 years.
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