Today’s political environment brings out the fact that we need to be tolerant of a viewpoints. This should continue and increase. In the world of work, there are lots of areas that would benefit the organization if we were LESS tolerant. Here are several that come to mind:
Less tolerance of repellent leaders. I am not talking about the Harvey Weinstein’s of the world — that behavior is repugnant. I am talking about repellent behavior of leaders; behavior that pushes away top talent and fails to engage current employees in a meaningful way. Many leaders lack fluency in the language of engagement and only think about a few factors like compensation.
Less tolerance of fixing over innovation. “Fixing” (and its cousin “problem solving”) bring a situation back to baseline performance. For organizations to thrive they need to continuously improve the standard of performance. Most quality initiatives and process improvement exercises merely bring more predictability to baseline performance. Leaders need to push for and insist on raising the standard of performance, which is where real value creation is found.
Less tolerance of what is interesting. One of my clients kept wanting to talk about a business partnership that had gone wrong. He found it interesting that the partner kept making bad decisions and did not want to profit from his experience. I told him I found it boring and he should too. We need to focus our interest and curiosity on those things and people that will help us achieve our goals – and ignore or limit energy on the rest.
Less tolerance on time spent away from key success factors. On a recent trip to Florida, I was able to spend several afternoons sailing. Sailing is simple but not easy. Successful sailing requires focus on wind strength, wind direction and the heading (destination). Leaders need to be intolerant of distractions from the key success factors in the business –or risk capsizing or getting blown off course.
Today endeavor to be less tolerant of those factors that impede success and encourage that discipline in others too.