Great leaders tolerate much less

By Martin Haworth
Martin Haworth

In everyones' lives there are minor irritations that get in the way of making us feel fulfilled and let us get on.

So often, they seem so trivial that it would feel a bit silly to be making a fuss in getting them resolved, especially where it might necessitate some sort of confrontation with someone else.

Yet when we do accept things that bug us, we are starting down a road of tolerating that slowly and surely begins to build up.

Once there are things in our lives that we allow to pass by without resolution, it can move from being a series of small annoyances - each in their own way trivial - to a much bigger animal that causes stress and frustration.

In business, when we lead others, the most effective are able to quickly find these sources of irritation and firmly resolve them.

Be they issues with people, resources or external factors, the strongest leaders understand clearly what is within their own influence and actively - pro-actively even - take steps to fix these issues fast.

Capable leaders fix them before they get anywhere near a big enough accumulation to become the bigger problem.

Indeed, for those who can act this way and do, problems are minimised. For those who don't - often blaming the world and his mother for their challenges, with 'it's not MY fault' - it's their own behaviors which are the bigger problem.

It's difficult for anyone not to carry a few unresolved matters around, yet accumulations of such things we tolerate are really a choice that we personally make. Choosing not to resolve such issues is therefore a choice too.

And, where we accept this - our own, conscious choice - it an indication of shortcomings in our capabilities, as much as anything.

So, here's the challenge - Notice those things that you've been tolerating recently and resolve, today, to stop.

To get them off your back, right away, today. Once a month, rinse and repeat. Give yourself clean space to do what you do best - lead your people effectively.