“Timing is everything,” so the old saying goes.
In our fast paced, “give it to me now” world, we can quickly grow impatient with the time it takes to create outcomes. While there may be a fine line between procrastination and patience, creating what we want often takes time.
At one point in his career, David was given an assignment by his boss to create a pilot training program in his executive education role. He was given a 6-month time period for the project to be completed. Given his personality preferences he took the first few months to “percolate.” He read articles and research, talked to others, and thought a lot about the plan and design for the workshop.
After about 3 months, his boss called him into her office and demanded to see his progress. David made the mistake of saying he had been in “percolating mode,” which triggered an explosive response from his boss. She said he had “wasted time” in those 3 months.
David’s reaction to his boss’s anger was to list on one piece of paper his thoughts about the training and left it on her desk before leaving that night. The next morning, she came into his office and complimented him on his work and direction of the training. (David’s mistake was that he had not shared this earlier.)
At the end of the 6 months, the project was completed, the training delivered and the outcome deemed a big success. For David, that first few months had been “invested time,” not wasted time.
We witnessed a more contemporary example this week, while watching the season premiere of “American Idol.” We love this show because of the vision and passion contestants bring to the competition as musical Creators. One young man told the judges that he had waited 8 years before auditioning, because he wanted to hone his talent before coming forward. All 3 judges loved his performance and, after he left the audition, talked about how great it was that he spent his time practicing and improving and came forward when he was ready.
Those years were invested time, not wasted time.
Sometimes, what we set out to create does not produce immediate positive outcomes. Whether it is a personal or professional relationship, a job that we’re not thrilled with, or any other “failure,” it is essential we continue to renew our passion for what we want to create. This will support who we are as Creators so that our time is invested toward the outcome we want.
Those times are invested, rather than wasted.