Leadership Intolerance


There's a saying us HR types use when we get together to share stories. "Nothing surprises me anymore". What we are saying is that, in our role, we have seen it all. After years in this career, shocking us is close to impossible. I have used this phrase often and with good intent, although it's not totally accurate.

I am, in fact, quite often surprised. I am surprised by tolerance.

Gruenter and Whitaker have said that "The culture of any organization is shaped by the worst behavior the leader is willing to tolerate." Why is it then, in such a hyper-comptetitive market, that leaders are tolerating bad behaviour? Rudeness, disrespect, harassment and verbal abuse are examples of personal aggression deviance that are unacceptable and require immediate action. These behaviours are typically easy to spot so there should be no excuses. Left alone, they can open up an organization and its leadership to significant liability. I believe leaders and organizations are making great progress in ensuring that employees feel safe in their workplace.

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