• Elizabeth Hockmeyer-Williams

Tolerance

Moments in our lives that call for tolerance of others can very quickly identify those people that I want to be around and those people I don't. That is not a unique experience and is one factor of tolerance that makes it one of the most interesting topics in developing high-performing teams that outperform and outpace everyone else around them. How can we both identify tolerance and see it as valuable in others but not conceptualize that it is important for that same behavior in our professional lives.



Building teams that trust one another also require building teams that walk-the-walk when it comes to tolerance. Now what does that mean? Walking the walk? It means that a team member can be tolerant of another's choices while simultaneously holding them accountable. That is where the trust comes in. The team has to trust that their leader will show them the same tolerance and trust that she or he demands of them.


Now let's talk practical applications. How in my daily operations did I help facilitate a culture of tolerance?

  1. Team members were never allowed to speak negatively about THEMSELVES. If you can help people be kinder to themselves, they will always be kinder to others.

  2. Change. Change is inevitable and for me the BEST part of life. Change = Opportunity for the right people. My highest performing team embraced change. They lead with YES and were always willing to jump off the cliff because they knew we were jumping together.

  3. Tolerance also requires that as a leader you accept criticism. You hold yourself accountable and if when you fall down or fall short you hold yourself to the same level of accountability that you would anyone else.

  4. I was proud that as an organization we as team represented a diverse, varied, and sometimes conflicting views and we still worked well together.

Again, these seem like simple and straightforward solutions. I have learned that sometimes those most obvious things, those most obvious choices, those most obvious next steps can paralyze even the strongest of leaders. Now we are right back to the root of the success and failure of any organization. Trust.


A great leader has to be able to trust their team enough to listen when they tell you that are making a mistake. It doesn't mean they are right but it does mean that you have to listen and consider their point-of-view.

A great leader has to KNOW that they don't need to have every idea - in fact they need to KNOW they can't have every idea - a great leader brings together the right people so they can have and then help build those ideas into reality.

A great leader has to know when to take a break and let their team hold down the fort.

A great leader has to know that if they are going to lead a high-performing team and change the world they have to work harder, longer, and faster than anyone else. A great leader has to be willing to leave it all on the field and take the big risks when the right set of opportunities present themselves.

Instead of looking for failure in your life, career, family, or anything else just offer yourself some tolerance and kindness. Tolerance and kindness are just like a virus they spread. Leadership matters. Behavior matters. Tolerance matters.


Thoughts with E