“All We Need is a Little Patience”

About three years ago, the Rock Star Principals published a blog for NASSP (National Association of Secondary School Principals) about the second “P” in their “11 P’s of Principal Leadership.” That “P” was patience. Please take a minute to read that blog while I wait “patiently” (see what I did there) for you to return: https://www.nassp.org/2020/12/16/patience-and-principal-leadership/

Young Dr. Nick waiting patiently.

Now that you’re back, I am sure you can see the value in having patience as a leader. I’d like to throw one more example at you that is from WWE’s Royal Rumble Pay-Paer-View this past Saturday night. In the main event, the champion and leader of “The Bloodline,” Roman Reigns, defended his championship against Kevin Owens. Kevin’s former best friend (and best man in his wedding), Sami Zayn, had abandoned Kevin and spent the last nine months trying to convince Roman and his group, called “The Bloodline,” that he was on their side. He was making headway as they had recently let him be an honorary member of their group.

But Roman is a “bad guy” and he constantly belittled Sami. Kevin Owens tried to help Sami see the light. This part of the story culminated when Roman Reigns cheated to win the match with the rest of “The Bloodline.” Roman and his group viciously beat up Owens after the match. Roman was about to finish off Kevin Owens by hitting him with a steel chair, but then decided that Sami should do it. Of course, Sami was conflicted. While 52,000 people in the Alamodome in San Antonio watched on, Sami decided to hit Roman with the chair instead of Kevin. When that happened, the massive crowd absolutely exploded into thunderous applause.

It was one of the loudest “pops” (crowd response) in pro wrestling history. Seconds later, Sami turned to Jey Uso, who is Roman’s cousin and part of “The Bloodline,” and apologized. You see, Sami had spent the last nine months convincing Jey that he was on their side. Jey was distraught because he had come to trust Sami. While he felt betrayed, he also wouldn’t condone Roman’s violence. For the past 24 months, the WWE has been telling the story of “The Bloodline” as a slow burn. In that moment, Jey walks out on his family. And the crowd came unglued yet again.

It’s incredibly rare for a pro wrestling story to elicit this type of emotion and crowd reaction. In today’s “short snippet” society, everyone wants the “payoff” to happen quickly. But this example of long form story telling over the period of two years shows that “patience” pays off. You can’t rush the time it takes to build relationships and get people invested in the characters and stories told on the screen. It takes time…maybe a REALLY long time.

So the next time you are preparing to launch an initiative or accomplish anything that you consider important, heed the words of Guns and Roses, “Take it slow and it’ll work out fine…all we need is a little patience.”

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