Anyone who knows me knows I am not a patient person. So, when I recently shredded my ACL and had reconstructive surgery, let’s just say, it wasn’t going to be easy.  What I found is that ACL recovery takes a long time and the physical therapy is very disciplined. You have to go slow and you have to have patience. During my therapy, I learned the importance of patience as it relates to my recovery, but I also started thinking about how patience links directly to leadership and the agency business.

The agency business at its core will make even the most patient person crazy. Being able to accept delays in scheduling, revisions to work, client decisions on projects, is just part of the day-to-day. Add to that the current complicated business climate where we are doing more with less and a society where instant gratification seems to be the “in” thing makes it even more of a challenge.

While I’m taking this journey, I’ve started to do things that help me learn and practice the art of patience.

Take a step backOK, so I know this sounds crazy, but take the time to see accomplishments as they happen. Often times, we check the box and don’t stop to learn what worked and why a project was successful. Seeing how you maneuvered through roadblocks will help you make decisions and navigate future situations with less stress.

Think before you act – Be thoughtful. Many times, we make decisions in order to keep a project moving, but decisions made in hast often hurt those around us as well as the project. Simply waiting to respond to an email or sleeping on a tough decision will create a more thoughtful response that can actually speed up the process.

Focus on the long-term – This takes commitment and is really hard. Anything can happen with enough effort, but will it be the right way? That doesn’t mean not meeting short-term deadlines or deliverables. It does mean keeping things in perspective.

Although I started down this path for a reason unrelated to my work life, I found that going through my recovery has helped me understand the importance of patience and keeping long-term goals top of mind. Continually putting forth the effort until you succeed is a patience I can deal with.