On Leadership, Patience and Endurance

Patience and Endurance

It’s been said, “The best things in life are worth waiting for.”

But have you felt at times like there’s too much waiting in life and not enough of the best things?”

Getting Things Done

If you are a leader, chances are good that you have a knack for getting things done. If you’re like me, you like to keep a “to do” list and check through the items on that list. It gives us a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day to see a number of things checked off that list.

A crossed off to-do list equates to progress!

Then there are those days where it feels like you are active all day, but have nothing to show for it at the end. Your list either looks the same as it did when we start our day or maybe, it’s even longer than when we started. Those can be frustrating days.

Waiting… Two Different Ways

We have to have a good mix of patience and endurance if we expect to be successful. We use these two words sometimes interchangeably, but they are very different things. No matter how you slice it, they both come down to one thing – waiting.


Patience is waiting for something good to happen.

Have you promised your children a toy or candy at the end of the shopping trip for good behavior? How excited were they to get that treat? If your kids are anything like mine, they may have been so excited that they couldn’t contain themselves and ruined it!

I wasn’t blessed with an abundance of patience.

It sounds like a great virtue to have, but it’s not something that comes naturally to me when there is something that I want. I suffer from iWin syndrome – I Want It Now. That’s part of what makes me who I am. If I see an opportunity, I go for it.

However, a lack of patience has cost me in a number of situations. Success is about capitalizing on an opportunity and executing, but the timing has to be just right. We’ve all heard, “The early bird gets the worm.” If you’re the early bird and you try to snatch the worm too early, he’ll see you and go back into his hole.

What good things are you waiting for? How has your patience been tested?


Endurance is waiting for something bad to be over.

We hear the word “endurance” all the time when it comes to sports and we occasionally use it to describe the seasons of our lives.

  • Couples need endurance if they are going through a rough spot in their marriage.
  • You may need the endurance to get through a rough patch in your career.
  • Athletes need the endurance to get through the grueling battle of training and of competition.

Endurance is what separates truly successful leaders from short-term successes. Leaders with the ability to see their teams through difficult times are the ones that grow the most. Through endurance comes growth and a strengthened resolve for success.

What areas of your leadership journey are you needing the most endurance today?

The Double Whammy

Sometimes, the worst place to be is when leaders need to have patience and endurance at the same time! This happens when we are going through a rough patch with the promise of something good on the horizon. When an entrepreneur starts a business, they can be excited and filled with energy.

After a short period of time, however, the business will get to what Seth Godin called, “The Dip” – a hard point where the business isn’t easy anymore and requires a lot of hard work. This is where the truly successful leaders separate themselves by having the patience and endurance to see it through.

Do you show patience and endurance, or are you like me and sometimes expect the good too soon? What has some of your mistakes taught you? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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Rich Bishop is President of Bishop Coaching & Consulting Group
He takes a hands-on approach to your Development through Coaching & Training
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Image Source: 25.media.tumblr.com

L2L Contributing Author


  1. Alex Moraes on March 10, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Reblogged this on MOLA Leadership and commented:
    Patience is key in the life of a leader, for ideas and projects take time to become a reality. The problem of being impatient is usual, especially in young leaders, for youth act based on emotions and not rationality. Therefore, breathe, live and practice ‘patience,’ so you eliminate stress and frustration and become a healthy, productive and mature leader.

    P.S. Thanks to L2L for this inspirational image!

  2. Stephanie Hilliard on March 11, 2014 at 5:48 pm

    Right now, as the newly-elected leader of a volunteer non-profit organization, I am at the point of needing both patience and endurance. I can see so many good possibilities on the horizon, but with no guarantee of them succeeding, and a lot of static from long-time members and people with personal agendas.

    • Rich Bishop on March 12, 2014 at 5:40 am

      First of all, congratulations on your recent appointment! Personal agendas always muddy the waters in an organization, especially one that is trying to make changes. I believe the key to getting through the tough time is to keep the organization focused on the goal. Where are you going as an organization? Make sure everyone is lined up together as much as possible. You WILL succeed if you are fully committed to succeeding. It’s just a matter of when.