The Waiting Time

Francis J. Kong - The Philippine Star

“Are you patient?” “Are you persistent?”

In my coaching with decision-makers high up in the food chain of their organizations, I ask these questions about patience and perseverance because of a crucial step of success, a vital piece of the puzzle in achieving goals. I never ask questions like, “Do you have the passion?”

Motivational speakers belt out cliches like: “Follow your passion!” as if the mass of humanity is born with or without this passion thing. I cringe whenever I hear another speaker say, “Pursue your dreams, and then money will pursue you!” And one of the dumbest pieces of advice and post I came across is the one that says, “If you are unhappy with your job, then quit your job. You do not deserve unhappiness!”

My goodness! These people do this to gain more “likes” and “following,” which they hope eventually would turn into projects and invitations for paid talks. But are they giving wise advice?

There is no magic in attaining goals, there is no instant success. Behind the fulfillment of aspirations, dreams, or goals lies a process. And inside the process lies a vital piece of the puzzle called “The Waiting Time.” This lag is the gap between the cause and the effect. It is the season between the planting and the harvest. It is that time in your life when nothing seems to happen after you have poured your efforts into your project and the results are not yet visible. It is also the gap that decides the difference between whether individuals or organizations as those who will succeed and those will not make it.

The next question is this. Is this lag bearable? Writer and speaker Todd Henry gives us a great perspective on this. The “Waiting Time” is when all your work seems to fall short in returning the great results you were expecting. And there is little on the horizon that things will get better. You can only move forward when you are in this space:

1. You have confidence in your plan and expectantly await the process to bring you the desired results.

2. You are willing to refuse and say “No” to activities, things, and distractions that can tempt and turn you away from your course.

3. You stick diligently and urgently daily on the progress.

Waiting time does not mean you do nothing and wait. This is a crucial gap. You have heard people say, “don’t quit” But sometimes, you need to know the difference between perseverance and stubbornness. It is a thin divide. Here comes again some “motivational” speakers mouthing cliches like, “You’ve got to have grit,” of course mimicking the New York best selling book “Grit” by author Angela Duckworth.

The reality behind life is that you need to quit at certain times in your life but leaving should result from a strategic way of thinking and not from fear or frustration. But a careful evaluation and conclusion that quitting frees you from sideways energy. Then you can refocus on the next endeavor that can bring you more remarkable results.

Once you land a job, you better ensure you eye another job. I do not mean that you resign or send your resume to another company and quit. This means you work like crazy, learn like a lunatic and target the next level of work that makes you so overqualified that you have become too good in your current job that management has no choice but to move you to a better one. This is called a “level-up” mentality. And this concept and disposition mean entering a personal growth development program whether the company supports you or not. This means setting your eyes on higher goals. It means no matter what position you are in, it means being confident, knowing that you are now embarked on a journey of adding more value to what you can offer. It also means adding more skills, getting more agile, learning from the best people you see around you, and asking questions.

What it means is getting yourself ready for the next job. A lot of people do not understand this process because they are merely waiting to be promoted. Yet they have not developed these tools to make them promotable. This is the key to career success, This waiting time of letting the process mature you to a state of readiness. Unless you happen to be the child of the owner of the business, there has been no other way invented yet.

Joe Girard says: “The elevator to success is out of order. You’ll have to use the stairs, one step at a time.”



(Level Up Leadership 2.0 online last run for this year will happen this Oct. 25- 27. For inquiries and reservations, contact April at +63928-559-1798 or and for more information, visit www.levelupleadership.ph)


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