It’s helpful for leaders to be impatient. Impatient leaders take more initiative. They get the job done faster. They’re passionate and innovative problem-solvers. They make quick decisions. They’re productive, and they infuse energy and urgency into the organisation.

Amongst many other things, impatient leaders will almost always:

  • Be punctual, or even early
  • Rely on themselves to make things happen
  • Quickly come to a conclusion
  • Respond rapidly to competition
  • Be the drivers of new ideas and new projects
  • Have great trust in themselves

So far so good.

For impatient leaders, nothing is quick enough: not the report, not the results, not the pace at which their colleagues speak. Everything takes too long. If they could make the world spin faster, they would. There are times when the impatient leader feels their head might explode if everybody doesn’t pick up the pace.

But this comes at a price.

Besides feeling overworked, impatient leaders may experience strained relationships and negative staff morale due to their persistent pressure. They may experience half-achieved goals or wasted resources. Being consistently hasty leads to ongoing disappointment and chronic stress, with nothing ever satisfactorily ‘enough’.

The middle road.

The solution for these leaders is not to grit teeth to be more patient, but to be more selective about when a situation merits a sense of urgency, and then share this rationale with the team. Urgency without explanation frustrates people, but when staff understand how it links to the bigger picture, trust and relationships remain intact. Where there’s support and clarity, there’s resolve and solidarity.

Organisations by their very nature are difficult to change, and having impatient leaders is a great asset. However arguably, the key to a great organisation is not its people, but the relationships between them. Create a personal leadership brand your team can trust.