Patience is a virtue — especially when leading in a crisis

Patience is a key attribute for successful leadership, especially in the midst of a crisis, but many leaders find it a challenge to develop this trait, David Sluss, PhD, wrote in an article for Harvard Business Review.

Dr. Sluss, an associate professor of organizational behavior at Georgia Tech's Scheller College of Business in Atlanta, writes that being patient in the face of adversity is important for fostering creativity and productivity. Research backs this up as well. Dr. Sluss surveyed 578 working professionals in the U.S. across various industries during the COVID-19 lockdown. Survey respondents were asked about their immediate supervisor's leadership characteristics and level of patience, and they were asked to report own levels of creativity, productivity and collaboration.

Dr. Sluss found that when employees rated their supervisors as having a high level of patience, their self-reported levels of creativity and collaboration increased by an average of 16 percent and productivity by 13 percent.

Dr. Sluss also suggests two ways leaders can develop patience:

1. Redefine what speed means to you and understand that moving quickly is not always correlated with delivering value.

2. Practice gratitude, as feeling more grateful can help people get better at delaying gratification, thus making them more patient.

Read the full article here.

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