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Finding patience

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in Leaders & Managers,Workplace Communication

Years ago, the head of a big accounting firm hired an executive coach on his own dime. He wanted the arrangement kept secret.

When the coach told the executive that their work might take awhile, the exec wanted to know what that meant.

Two weeks? The coach smiled. A month? The coach remained silent.

“What are you saying?” the exec blustered as he paced. “That it’s going to take months, years? I don’t have time. I can’t wait forever!”

After half a minute, the coach asked a question.

“What was the skill you said you most needed to work on?”

“Patience!” the chief shouted.

“And how long will that take?”

“Awhile,” the leader said, and sighed.

—Adapted from Coached to Lead, Susan Battley, Jossey-Bass.

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