Dear Manager,

A very real challenge for experienced managers (let alone those of us qualified for subscriptions to Modern Maturity) is patience.  I know my own patience threshold, if left unchecked, is significantly less than it once was. 

My personal assessment suggests that a combination of factors impact our ability to find patience in the hectic lives we lead.  Failure to exhibit a dose of patience on a regular basis will only serve to negatively impact us personally, professionally, and possibly even medically.


Society today seems a bit less patient be it terrorism, war a difficult economy or just the much faster pace that we find in all our lives.  Patience would suggest a level of satisfaction and acceptance in the most simple of pleasures let alone surviving a traffic jam on Friday afternoon.  We have all seen the speeding driver who is destined to arrive five minutes before we do.  What could possibly motivate the urgency and these five minutes?  Ultimately left unchecked “the crankies” are likely to set in for a time.  Now won’t that be fun for those we work with let alone those whom we are devoted to at home.

I believe one of the greatest losses for patience with maturity is the self perception that we have “seen it all.”  While not true, I’m here to tell you it can sure seem that way on occasion.  How could this knucklehead try to pull this stunt, is he fresh off the planet of Zubadar?  Tell me this has never crossed your mind!


Our challenge as it relates to patience is in our failure or lack of desire to forgo judgment of others.  It becomes increasingly “convenient” to pass judgment upon others based upon our own frame of reference and the experiences factors that have established our own foundation of base values.  Obviously no one can possibly have the benefit of our experiences let alone expertise as if they were their own!  We may see an individual perform a task in such a way that we also would have done so similarly earlier in our lives.  We have now learned that this similar approach could not, will not work.  We know this to be true, but it may or may not be our position to now right our own former wrong.  If in fact you at one time approached this scenario similarly, how can we possibly pass judgment, failing to be patient in this very similar situation?


I have been involved in board and executive meetings where I have clearly deferred to others in those areas of consideration for which I have little or no experience.  Obviously the experience and input of others should carry the stage.  One of these areas was often financial and auditing issues.  I had little or no valuable input and clearly suggested so.

On other occasions financial people would involve themselves heavily into the sales and marketing areas for consideration.  There were instances when it was clear the meetings direction was in direct conflict to what every fiber of my body suggested could possibly find success.  This is where diplomacy and patience must rule!  We have all been here; we have all fidgeted in our chairs.  How does one possibly sit still when the iceberg is in full view but seemingly can only be seen by you?  If this isn’t the ultimate test of patience, I don’t know what is.


I find this example and lack of patience to be my own greatest challenge.  Managers devote their lives to finding and nurturing success.  While not always accomplished, it comes with greater and greater frequency for the seasoned manager.  We know our areas of strength, we avoid the alligators we chase the doves. 

The targets become much larger the opportunities become much more realistic.   A kid in the candy store mentality begins to consume us with potential.  Yes we want all the candy we can possibly hold and maybe just one piece more.  There have been times when patience was required not just in the form of days and weeks but in the form of years.  On reflection these were also some of the greatest lessons learned, regardless of my patience in the process.


I’m not sure if further discussion is required, so I won’t.


… accepting the frame of reference of others. I have known individuals who speak in what would seem to be a very different language.  While I consider myself mostly computer literate, this continues to develop at a fairly elementary pace.  I will sit down with a tech person, and it can become almost comical.  Their frame of reference is so much more sophisticated to my own, that most of the basics that I am looking to absorb is lost in their fourth generation examples.  They may leave without a clue to the fact they have provided me with less than 20% of the meetings potential.  I’m sure that they think I am some kind of moron.  Have I done the same to others as it may relate to meeting their fundamental needs and meeting the potential for mutual success?  There is no question that I have failed others in the past.


We can all appreciate the truth in this old axiom.  Having said so I have also known individuals who have “patienced” themselves right into mediocrity.  You can begin to understand my challenges in finding the correct balance between patience and boredom. 

There is middle ground that all of us must find if we are to be the most effective manager we can become.  Is there a simple formula; if you have found one I beseech you to contact me.  I would certainly not want my patience to run out.


Personal Regards,



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