Leadership Tip of the Week: Tactical Patience

The movie “The Patriot” includes an epic final battle where Benjamin Martin, played by Mel Gibson, volunteers to lead his militia as the center of the colonial army’s formation. He knows that his British rival, Colonel William Tavington (played by Jason Isaacs), will rush to failure, committing his forces too early — giving the colonial army a chance to defeat the British. The sequence of events is a great example of wisdom where Benjamin Martin displays the combination of discernment and Kairos Time.

Kairos time is the capacity to apply the right action at the right time. This skill can be developed through experience as well as applying discernment.  Leaders can develop the ability to create a sense of urgency in order to take advantage of opportunities as well as apply tactical patience so they don’t rush to failure.

Timing is important. Leaders need to be cautious that they do not act too soon and fail as a result. Most leaders have learned the hard lessons associated with rushing to failure.

In the Army, we use a term called “tactical patience.” It involves making sure the conditions are set to ensure success. It requires leaders to shape the situation to make sure that resources can be committed at the appropriate time. Leaders often want to be aggressive and pursue opportunities immediately, but it is wise to use discernment to improve situational awareness and further develop the state of affairs. This leads to better decision making.

If you struggle with patience, channel your best Benjamin Martin and apply some “tactical patience” this week.

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Here at Lead Read Today, we endeavor to take an objective (rational, scientific) approach to analyzing leaders and leadership. All opinion pieces will be reviewed for appropriateness, and the opinions shared are solely of the author and not representative of The Ohio State University or any of its affiliates.