Delayed Gratification – A Leadership Trait

To build a great Vollara business and income, a leader must delay gratification.  It is natural to want success now.  We live in an instant fast paced world.  People lose interest if the reward does not come right after the effort.

Zig Ziglar said for years before his passing that we can be successful when we help others become successful. In Vollara our pay off in income and lifestyle comes after we have helped others become successful. Sometimes that takes a few hours, sometimes perhaps a few years and sometimes longer.

This is less difficult for a true leader than for someone that only thinks they are a leader. Great leaders tend to naturally think in the future, not in the moment. Perhaps being comfortable with delayed gratification is an indicator for determining whether or not someone is truly a leader. Recognizing that success may not be seen for a prolonged period of time reduces the pressure felt to produce immediate results. Great leaders always seem to have the long haul in mind.

I have to drive to Knoxville often.  It seems like a long hour drive in traffic.  But, when I was driving to Dallas I knew I had a whole day,s drive.  It seemed like Knoxville came and went in an instant.  I was focusing on the long haul and that made the short term drive easy.

Real leadership teaches that this is not just a matter of being patient ourselves. Leaders not only need to be comfortable with delayed gratification, but also need to teach those they are leading to be comfortable with it as well.  I remember my first year teaching my children that by helping with the house and making our meetings professional without lots of kid noise etc., we would be earning a trip to Hawaii as a family.  By teaching them that all good things don’t come right now, they “enjoyed” sitting with Nata doing homework etc. while Dad conducted a meeting in the other room.  The vision of that trip to Hawaii made the short term sacrifice easy for them.

I can remember investing my profits back into my business buying inventory, a computer, office tools, business clothing knowing if I put my business first and nurtured it, the business would take care of my needs and wants the rest of my life.  And that sure did come true!  It was not easy as we were very short on funds.  It would have been pretty easy to use those early profits for immediate needs. But, that would have been like eating the seeds we would need for next years crop.

You can be patient, a part of delayed gratification, when you have a long term vision AND the plan that will get you to the fulfillment of that vision. At Vollara we call that a GPA, or Goal, Plan and Action with Accountability. When you have the business plan which are the steps necessary to get you to your goal, it gives you great satisfaction in the completion of every step (even though you may not be getting rewards yet) because it leads you that much closer to the ultimate fulfillment.

There are also times when leaders take actions knowing they may never receive a reward. Selflessness is real love for others.  At one point in my career, I needed to make decisions that would benefit the greater numbers vs. my personal present needs. I take joy in seeing others achieve short and long term gratification knowing if I do the right things, ultimately my rewards will come. A true leader should work for a Kingdom-focused goal as well as goals in this life, sometimes without the need for any self-gratification.  As Zig Ziglar says once again, “If you help enough other people get what they want you will get what you want.  We keep what we give away.


Mike Jackson

One thought on “Delayed Gratification – A Leadership Trait”

  1. This was a great reminder about focus. How long had you been in the business when you were challenged to get your 500 in 365 days?

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