There’s a Japanese white pine bonsai in the National Arboretum in Washington DC that is 391 years old. It was planted in 1625, and it survived the bombing of Hiroshima. Six generations of the Yamaki family have cared for it.
When I think about that tree, I have tremendous respect for the commitment, skill, and effort that so many people invested over a long time to make something that amazing!
So maybe I can be more patient.
Many of the ideas that form the core of the leadership principles I believe in and teach were handed down to me from others who may have learned them from a prior generation.
I’m sure some of these ideas were planted in the 16th century!
So when I’m short-tempered and impatient with my 13-year-old or frustrated that I gave my assistant a task that wasn’t clear and she spent 20 some-odd hours going in the wrong direction. (Theoretically, I’m just creating an example!)
Or when my team member doesn’t get the idea I’m trying to communicate the first (or second) time I try to express it.
Maybe in those circumstances, I don’t have to beat myself up. I can offer myself more time.
Yes, it feels like I’ve been stuck in this pattern forever. Sure, I’d like to never be in this situation again.
In a world where we’re used to getting everything delivered overnight and cooked in 5 minutes, it’s good to remember that some things, valuable things, take time.