Apply Impulse Control To Become A Better Leader

In 1972 the Stanford Marshmallow Experiment was conducted by Walter Mischel, at Stanford University where he studied a group of four-year old children.  Each of the children was given one marshmallow, but promised two if they wait twenty minutes before eating the first marshmallow. Some children were able to wait the twenty minutes, and some did not.  Mischel then studied the children into adolescence and found that those children able to delay gratification were psychologically better adjusted, more dependable persons, and better students.  Bottom line: delaying gratification resulted in more success.

Good impulse control is considered a positive leadership characteristic and as psychologist Daniel Goleman indicates, an important component trait of emotional intelligence.  Leaders are under much pressure to deliver results faster and often forsake greater future success because they choose today’s immediate gratification.

We see this in leaders who hire problematic candidates who can immediately contribute over high-potential candidates needing some grooming.  We see this in leaders who choose to complete a task themselves today instead of delegating it to a developing direct report because it gets done faster.  We see this in leaders who fail to prepare a succession plan for their direct reports because it takes up too much time today and figure they’ll just deal with it later.

Empower yourself to control the impulse of today’s short-cut and you’ll experience greater success tomorrow.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration, Selection

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: