Patience, Perseverance, and the Future
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

I can be an impatient person. However, it is not when I am at my best. One needs patience to create a bold and exciting future. Maybe it’s my farming background that has helped me understand this key point. You can’t grow a plant if you keep pulling up the seed to see if it is growing. You must plant the seed, take away any weeds, provide water and sun, and finally harvest. It’s a process of hard work, patience, tending to what matters, and reaping the labor’s fruits. The future is not instantaneous. It takes vision, hard work, and a fair amount of patience. At times we can hurry, but we can never rush and expect a great outcome.

We are in the middle of a very challenging time. We are living through both a global pandemic and an economic downturn. Markets have been upended, and our workforce has been challenged with new behaviors and requirements. And, we are not even close to being out of this situation. Leadership that is both steadfast and patient is needed more than ever.

To practice patience, one must know that proper planning and execution in the moment are constantly occurring. Patience is never about doing nothing. It may involve waiting until the right time. It certainly consists of investing in our teams, technology, and effective processes. And, we need patience to see these efforts through to their conclusions. Leadership will be required to see that all are supported. The longer I have been blessed to lead teams, the more I see how patience and perseverance are needed.

How do you view patience in the context of leadership? What does being patient meant to you? When have you used both patience and perseverance to gain strategic advantages and outcomes? What do you need to be patient about now at work and at home? These are questions I have been asking myself since the onset of our current crisis.

One other thing comes to mind when I think about patience and perseverance regarding the future. For me, it reminds me to be humble enough to ask for help. Listening and learning are so crucial to finding the solutions to our challenges. I remind myself that I do not need to know all the answers. Outstanding teams and hard work can work wonders. I have learned time and time again that the best solutions come from diligent teamwork. All I need to do is be supportive, patient, and committed to persevering. I hope you, too, can do this during this most challenging of times.