Leading Change? Keep These 3 Personality Traits in Balance

Change LeaderSuccessful change leaders demonstrate three common characteristics—courage, patience, and determination. And they make sure all three are in balance through a manageable dynamic tension.

For example, courage might mean speaking up and sharing an opinion different from that of the CEO—someone who has more authority than you do. But it needs to be balanced by taking a moment to quiet yourself after speaking. Being quiet and remaining calm is demonstrating patience. Determination is added into the mix when you stand firm, take the time to identify and work around obstacles, and then continue your progress toward the vision.

So how are you at being courageous, patient, and determined? Let’s explore each element separately.

Courage—which we define as the ability to control your feelings in a dangerous or difficult situation. How often do you:

  • Speak your truth; share what you see and experience to be true
  • Challenge the status quo; push against “we have always done it this way”
  • Try new things and meet new people—go outside of your comfort zone

Patience—the ability to wait, to continue to do something despite difficulties, or to suffer without complaining or becoming annoyed. How often do you:

  • Listen with the intention of learning something new
  • Ask good questions to gain clarity vs. telling to share your point of view
  • Sit comfortably in silence—with no layering of comments or questions because silence is uncomfortable

Determination—the ability to continue trying to do something even when it is very difficult. How often do you:

  • Set a daily goal that moves the mark on the vision
  • Stay clear with an ongoing repetition of the vision
  • Embrace resistance to change you encounter to learn and reposition strategy

Leaders who succeed at leading change cultivate courage, patience, and determination in the right amounts, at the right time. Consider these three traits in your own change efforts. How are they at work individually and in dynamic balance in your life? How are they helping or hindering you in achieving change personally and in your organization?

Do you have more to add? I’d love to hear from you.

About the Author

Joni Wickline

Joni Wickline is Vice President, International Growth with The Ken Blanchard Companies. You can read Wickline’s posts as a part of Coaching Tuesday here at Blanchard LeaderChat for ideas, research, and inspirations from the world of executive coaching.

4 thoughts on “Leading Change? Keep These 3 Personality Traits in Balance

  1. Thank you for your insight. It could not have come at a better time as I’m working on influencing leaders to embrace a new idea/difference of opinion. I wish I had your “patience tip” during a recent meeting I had as this is an area I need to work on. I’ll do better next time. Courage, Patience, and Determination skills that are meaningful and easy to remember.

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  3. I’m totally on board. The definition of courage was interesting. I’ve thought of it as “having fear and acting anyway,” which would fit with the examples you gave. Gives me something to chew on… Thanks!

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