Embracing Patience: Enhancing Leadership and Decision-Making

Nov 20, 2023

Effective leadership and decision-making are critical for success. However, the best leaders understand the importance of patience and its impact on their decision-making process. Patience allows leaders to avoid rash judgments, short-term trends, and undue influence from others. By embracing patience, leaders can make more informed and ethical decisions that benefit their organizations and stakeholders.

The Influence of Emotion on Decision-Making

Emotion plays a significant role in decision-making, even for highly intelligent and successful leaders. When faced with frustration and a sense of urgency, leaders may be tempted to make impulsive decisions that they would not make under different circumstances. The desire for achievement and creating positive change can fuel action, but it is crucial for leaders to understand how to regulate these emotions and use them effectively. By being aware of their emotional state, leaders can channel their motivation as fuel and make more rational decisions.

Making Thinking About Thinking a Priority

To improve decision-making, leaders must reflect on their own thinking processes and habits. By asking the right questions and seeking input from colleagues, leaders can identify patterns, erroneous beliefs, and illogical conclusions that may hinder their decision-making. This self-inquiry process requires a willingness to examine one's own thinking, the courage to share insights, and empathy towards others undergoing similar self-reflection. Through this process, leaders can gain valuable insights and make more informed decisions.

Three questions that can help leaders enhance their decision-making include:

  1. Lay out your logic: Simplify your decision-making process by telling the story in a concise manner. Can you explain it to anyone in your organization in three minutes? How does it create value for the organization and its stakeholders?

  2. Test your thinking: Examine the assumptions underlying your proposed decision. Understand the rationale behind your projections and seek further information to support them. This process helps identify logical and illogical inferences.

  3. Look for triggers: Recognize external forces and people that may exert pressure on decision-making. Leaders should be aware of demand characteristics and ensure that decisions align with the organization's long-term objectives and values.

The Role of Leadership in Empowering Decision-Making

Leaders have a responsibility to empower individuals at all levels of the organization to make sound decisions. This involves creating an environment that fosters ethical decision-making and provides the necessary resources and training for employees to excel. Great leaders establish norms, structures, incentives, and systems that enable their team members and stakeholders to make decisions that maximize collective benefit and value creation.

Ethics play a crucial role in effective leadership and decision-making. Leaders must consider the wider consequences and ethical implications of their decisions. Ignoring ethical considerations can lead to moral, legal, financial, and reputational risks. By embracing ethical leadership, leaders can create a culture of trust, accountability, and long-term success.

Strategies for Cultivating Patience in the Workplace

Practicing patience in the workplace is essential for leaders to create a high-performance environment and make better decisions. Here are five powerful ways leaders can cultivate patience:

  1. See Through the Lens of Others: Develop empathy and understand different perspectives. Avoid quick judgments and strive to understand the motivations and concerns of others. Creating a supportive environment allows employees to make better decisions and fosters trust within the organization.

  2. Evaluate Tension Points in an Unbiased Way: Leaders should carefully evaluate tension points within the organization and consider the underlying causes. Remain open-minded, unbiased, and seek to understand the perspectives of all parties involved. By addressing tension points proactively, leaders can facilitate better decision-making and resolve conflicts effectively.

  3. Listen and Ask Questions With a Positive Attitude: Patience requires active listening and asking questions to gain a deeper understanding of the situation. Leaders should create a safe space for employees to share their concerns and ideas. Maintaining a positive attitude during challenging times can inspire collaboration and problem-solving.

  4. Seek Perspective From Trusted Resources: Effective leaders recognize that they don't have all the answers. Seeking advice from mentors or trusted resources can provide valuable insights and help leaders make more informed decisions. By incorporating diverse perspectives, leaders can consider various options and gain a broader understanding of the situation.

  5. Don't Run Away from Being Responsible Yourself: Leaders must take responsibility for their actions and decisions. Instead of blaming others, leaders should reflect on their own role in a given situation. By being accountable, leaders set an example for their team and foster a culture of ownership and continuous improvement.

The Power of Experiments in Leadership and Decision-Making

Leadership and decision-making can benefit from a systematic approach that includes experimentation. Organizations should embrace a culture of learning and conduct experiments to test new ideas and initiatives. By testing decisions on a smaller scale before implementing them company-wide, leaders can identify what works best and make informed adjustments. This iterative process allows for continuous improvement and ensures better decision-making over time.


Patience is a vital quality for leaders seeking to enhance their decision-making and empower their teams. By reflecting on their thinking processes, embracing ethical considerations, and cultivating patience, leaders can create a workplace environment that fosters better decision-making and long-term success. Through active listening, seeking diverse perspectives, and conducting experiments, leaders can make informed decisions that maximize collective benefit and value creation. By embracing patience, leaders can inspire their teams to reach their full potential and create positive change in their organizations.

Remember, effective leadership is not solely about steering the ship but empowering others to make sound decisions, thereby fostering a culture of growth, innovation, and success. You can learn more about this with our Executive Leadership course at Gigantic.

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