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1 min readLeaders don’t, unless…

by Guy Gage | November 4, 2012 | Business

Coaching leaders in professional service firms for over 2 decades has taught me all kinds of things. One is that leaders are different in what they tolerate and what they don’t. Long story short, what it really comes down to is a reflection of what leaders tolerate in themselves. If leaders exhibit a lower standard in themselves, they tolerate it in others as well.

Here’s a partial list of what some leaders don’t tolerate unless…

Leaders don’t allow underperformance from others unless they underperform

Leaders don’t accept lesser quality from others unless their quality is lacking

Leaders don’t allow missed deadlines unless they miss deadlines

Leaders don’t permit slacking off unless they slack off

Leaders don’t let budgets to be missed unless they consistently miss budgets

Leaders don’t allow decisions to linger unless they, too, delay in making decisions

Leaders don’t accept lack of follow through from others unless they don’t follow through themselves

Leaders don’t allow their people to be mistreated unless they mistreat them

When you examine what you tolerate, instead of trying to explain it away, look in the mirror and face the reality that your tolerance is mainly a result of what you tolerate in yourself. Once you admit it, there is unanimous consent, because everyone else already knows the reason for your tolerance. All this time you’ve been deluding yourself, thinking that because you tolerate something less from others, they will not hold you to the higher standard. Actually, you show that you tolerate a lower standard in others BECAUSE you accept it in yourself.

If you really want to move your leadership up a click, rather than accept something less in others, expect a higher standard—AND begin with yourself. Otherwise, you establish yourself firmly in the realm of mediocrity, leading mediocrity and producing mediocrity. Who wants to follow that, except others who tolerate mediocrity?

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