Patience has never been one of my strengths. Last Friday, our speaker at the Good Leadership Breakfast said something that arrested my attention. He described himself as “profoundly impatient.” In context, Phil McKoy of UnitedHealthcare, explained to more than 250 guests how being “profoundly impatient” works both for him, and against him in his leadership.
Every once-in-awhile something really surprises me about myself. Over the course of 56 years I’d never heard that two-word combination: profoundly and impatient linked as a leadership descriptor. In that instant, I lost my ability to focus on Phil’s speech. Instead, I drifted off into a new level of self-understanding. “That’s me!” I said under my breath.
Over the next 90 seconds, a highlight reel from my life’s highs and lows raced through my mind. I revisited the pain caused by my own knee-jerk reaction to things I didn’t like – suffering and embarrassment caused by my impatience. And there were moments when I acted quickly on my instincts for things that turned out great. Bold moves that feel “wise” today.
His strength, his weakness – a familiar refrain
What I re-learned from Phil McKoy is how our greatest strength can also be our most significant weakness. Duh. That’s not at all profound. But it never hurts to pause, and contemplate familiar themes that are expressed in fresh ways.
So, what strength is also your weakness? Does the descriptor: profoundly impatient fit with your leadership?
You can listen to the Goodness Pays Leadership Podcast here, to calibrate your own reaction to Phil McKoy describing how his strengths are also his weaknesses.
My opening remarks were about the momentum that’s building around the Goodness Pays message: higher demand for tickets, higher book sales, more options for speakers and Good Leadership events. It feels satisfying – and also unsatisfying at the same time. Time marches on, and we have millions of leaders to touch with our message.
Will you help spread the message?
Tickets are now on sale for the 2019 Fall Good Leadership Breakfast Series, with featured guest Richard Davis – former CEO of U.S. Bank, and now CEO of Make-A-Wish America – speaking on Friday, November 15.