State of Intolerance We call them pet peeves, hot buttons, or triggers. They launch us into a heightened level of alert letting us know something is not quite right. I call these instances a "state of intolerance". These are times when we say enough is enough; we can no longer ignore or tolerate inadequacies, incompetence, excuses, failures or nonconformity. We feel compelled to do something about it. Normally when we get to this state things are already too bad. I believe we should exercise the state of intolerance more often. But first we need to lay out clear ground roles, ensure everyone understands them, and then help people to hit the targets. Everyone should be on the same sheet of music and measured by common standards applied consistently across the board. Everyone must be held to the same basic expectations; deviations should be exceptionally rare, only for documented and proven uncontrollable circumstances. We should let people know upfront what will and will not be tolerated; there should be no assumptions and nothing should be left up to interpretation. The state of intolerance is a mindset of accountability and responsibility. We take the position that people should be given clear guidelines to operate with. The rules are not to suppress ideas, limit creativity, or restrict personnel growth as some people may think; to the contrary, the standards are there to ensure individual and organizational success. This is an effort to keep people safe, ensure fairness and equality, protect rights, prevent legal violations, and guarantee productivity. The state of intolerance infuses a voice of reason, taking a firm stance that people must be held accountable for their actions. Here we create an environment of openness, consistency, and fairness where individuals feel they have an equal chance to succeed. There are certain instances when the state of intolerance is very crucial. When it comes to safety, training, individual rights, and performance, it is important that we make sure people are following procedures and standards. If we do not hold the line, not only will we compromise our leadership and trust, but more importantly tarnish the organization's reputation and put people's lives and careers at risk.
Published on Mar 24, 2014