“Be patient and you will finally win, for a soft tongue can break hard bones.” Proverbs 25:15

By John E. Schrock, Businessman

Underline the key concepts found in this principle.

Good leaders are patient. In this generation of instant food, instant access, and instant information, we have forgotten a great virtue - patience. It is not a quantity virtue, but rather a quality virtue. Patience is not procrastination or slothfulness; it is waiting for the appropriate moment and working with time and seasons. If we want corn, we must wait for spring in order to plant; then we must wait again for autumn to harvest. Likewise, there are problems which cannot be solved right away. Sometimes they must mature. Without waiting for the right time, we may add to the problem. Mature leaders recognize seasons in their lives and businesses, and allow time for change. They know change is a process, and they practice patience during the process. They also know that without patience they might force things too much and could cause costly immature reactions.

It is important to sense the moods of an employee or team before we give correction. There is a right time and a wrong time for dealing with a situation.
Patient people receive three honors:

1. They are honored as people in control of themselves, because they watch how they react to difficult situations.

2. They are honored as people of understanding, because they listen to make sure they understand before they react. They won’t take high risks in a situation.

3. They are honored as being wise, because they choose to hold their peace and calm the fears of others involved by giving good counsel.

When we are angry, we should wait (be patient) until we cool off. We should recognize the old proverb, "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear." Quick responses from unprepared hearts only complicate the situation, and in the end we all lose. But as the Proverb states, "Be patient, and you’ll finally win." With patience, everyone can win. Patience, if practiced rightly, will give all those involved peace and security.

We should be careful and recognize that it takes time to develop people. We should not expect a fourth-grade student to understand eighth-grade lessons. Good leaders know when to push and when to pull. They remember that leadership is leading people, getting people to see what they see, and teaching them how, when and why they want to get there. Our expectations should be based on our training and development of people. We should know this takes time. We should never ignore problems, but allow time and be patient, watching for the right moment to deal with them. God will usually inspire someone with a solution if we wait and pray.

Patience will season and prepare our own hearts as well as those with whom we are dealing. The next time you are hasty or pushy, stop and practice a little patience. You’ll be wiser and more appreciated.

This principle is part of the one year character development program: Foundations For Achievement.

Thoughts to Ponder:
Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping the gears..