Today we continue the series on the fifteen most important things I have learned from others.
In 1985 I was a football graduate assistant for The Ohio State University. I worked with our recruiting coordinator Bob McNea. In my 22-year old mind Coach McNea seemed to be about 112 years old. Each day we would come back from lunch and he would pull out his big ring of keys, search for the right one, and then attempt to gain entry into our office. I say attempt because the lock was finicky, and the key had to be jiggled just so.
One day, in my exuberance, I became impatient and grabbed the keys from his hands. “Here Coach, I’ll do it.” Because, of course, this young man could do it better (faster) than the old one standing next to me.
Coach looked at me, and in a firm but kind voice said, “Fred, how are you ever going to be a good teacher if you don’t have patience?”
I can still hear him clear as day.
Great teachers have great patience. Why?
Patience creates space… a safe space.
It is in that safe space that people can take the time and the risks that will help them grow.
Strategic leaders prioritize growing people, and so strategic leaders must be patient teachers.
Coach McNea passed away in 2010, and I regret never having told him how much of an impact he had on me. Consider taking a few minutes today to reach out to someone who you want to acknowledge – before it is too late.
Do good and be well,