Patience Is a Form of Action

change leadership Apr 17, 2024

In the race for efficiency and productivity, it's easy for manufacturing leaders to overlook the very trait that could catapult their businesses forward – patience.

Now, patience might seem at odds with the frenetic pace of the assembly line or the meticulous planning of JIT manufacturing, but its application at the strategic level could bring about monumental shifts.

Here's some quick ideas to get you thinking:

  • A Case for Strategic Pauses
    Consider the classic story of the tortoise and the hare. The hare – quick, agile, and undoubtedly productive in short bursts – was outstripped by the tortoise's slow, steady, and methodical pace. In the manufacturing world, the strategic 'pauses' that come with patience can lead to smarter decisions, more considered strategies, and ultimately, a more robust and effective operation.

  • The Leadership Philosophy of Wabi-Sabi
    Wabi-sabi, a Japanese concept that celebrates the beauty of impermanence and imperfection, is a philosophy that can be powerfully applied to manufacturing leadership. It involves accepting the inherent 'flaws' in processes and products, fostering a culture of improvement over time, and honoring the organic evolution of one's leadership approach.

  • Long-Term Vision: The 7 Generations Principle
    Native American culture speaks of the 7 Generations Principle, which implores individuals to consider the far-reaching impact of their actions, decisions, and policies. An application of this principle in manufacturing leadership calls for a vision that extends beyond immediate profits and towards lasting value for current and future employees, stakeholders, and the environment.

  • Patient Leadership During Tough Times
    During periods of crisis, such as economic downturns or global pandemics, the ability to remain patient and composed can set apart great manufacturing leaders from merely good ones. By maintaining a long-term perspective and refusing to succumb to the pressures of immediate, short-sighted solutions, leaders can guide their teams and companies through the darkest of times with resilience and stability.

The manufacturing industry is ripe for a paradigm shift towards leadership that embraces patience. In the pursuit of 10X results, we must not neglect to look inward and consider the immense potential that lies in the deliberate, measured, and patient actions of our leaders.

By fostering a culture that values patience, understanding, and foresight, manufacturing companies can unlock new levels of performance, innovation, and employee satisfaction. It's a long and winding road, but the vistas at the end are remarkable – and worthy of the wait.

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