Thursday, October 9, 2014

Quote-A-Day: Day 283

If you aren't prepared to wait, ask yourself if you are truly prepared to #lead. #QuoteADay #Day283 #edchat #edu #ASCDL2L

In the movies, leaders often take action regularly.  And usually, they take action immediately, in a flurry of activity.

And they tend to save the day.

A lot.

In the real world, many leaders do take action, but that action is interspersed with much waiting.  Whether it is waiting to collect data, waiting to talk to others, waiting for the right moment to build capacity, a leader’s life is filled with starts and stops.  But, that doesn’t mean that a leader’s life is ever dull.

The best leaders see the power of this waiting and see it as a necessary part of being effective, and a necessary part of taking action.

Leaders who are constantly jumping into action are leaders who are constantly trying to put out fires.  While this works for some, it connotes a leadership style that is about triage rather than triumph.  We should never want to lead through triage, as decisions are always worth less when reflection isn’t built into the equation.

Leaders who understand the power of waiting see that it not only helps them think through next steps, but provides time to bring others on board, test the water through idea or action “piloting,” and allows for the collection of data/feedback through a number of different channels (their PLN, the media, the community-at-large, etc.)

No one loves to wait, but the best leaders structure their work so that while they wait on some ideas, they are moving forward on others.  The best leaders integrate waiting so effectively that while they may never have a dull moment, they’ve embedded enough wait-time for initiatives to be successful.

Therefore it pays to quiz yourself on the following:

If you aren’t prepared to wait, ask yourself if you are truly prepared to lead.

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