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The Rare Sign That Will Instantly Identify Someone as a Great Leader

It's a skill that runs counter to instant gratification, but it gets long-term results


When you think of good leadership, does patience ever come up as a key strength of great leaders? Probably not, but it should.

Patience can be one of the hardest traits to master personally and professionally because of the intense pressure put on leaders to generate quick and effective results.

Patient attitudes are even viewed as going against the grain of workplace culture. Instead, leaders are celebrated for working hard and fast.

But when you stop and think about it, a workplace without patient leaders is on the fast track to a toxic environment.

The “why” of patience

Patient leaders can be pegged as soft or easily manipulated, when in fact they are often genuine mentors, strong decision-makers, and thoughtful team members who have the ability to problem-solve through multiple perspectives.

Even more crucial, these dynamic and intrinsic leaders can provide balance to the hustlers who make up the majority, helping to round out any workplace environment.

To understand how leading with patience can positively impact a business, I spoke with Will Bartholomew, founder and CEO of D1 Training, an athletic-based fitness franchise backed by professional athletes.

As a leader in the fitness and scholastics space, Bartholomew has achieved a patient attitude by leading a variety of people from professional athletes, to corporate team members, to the younger athletes he trains. He’s boiled down his experiences to share five helpful tips on how to master the art of patience as a leader in today’s fast-paced society.

1. Trust in the process.

It starts with assessing feedback — what worked and what didn’t over the previous year, which takes time and patience. Long nights, debates, and arguments in meetings and countless information to organize and align with your company’s core values will challenge your patience. Bartholomew advises leaders to keep a level head and trust in the process. To be patient with seemingly time-consuming tasks, he reminds himself of the reasoning behind something like annual planning. “When you pause to understand the benefit of a well-laid-out plan,” shares Bartholomew, “you will no doubt take more time and care when crafting it, allowing for explosive company growth down the line.”

2.  Practice morning mindfulness.

In addition to working out in the morning, Bartholomew devotes 10 minutes to focus on breathing and clearing his mind, which helps him let go of anything that may be plaguing his ability to positively lead his team. This morning routine takes discipline, he says, adding, “It helps me bring a calm, alert, and prepared mind to the office each day. If you start the morning flustered, it can lead to a short fuse, making it more likely a small problem could lead to an outpouring of anger. Coming to the office with a positive and refreshed outlook equates to approachability.”

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