The Myth of Tolerance

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The Myth of Tolerance

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Everyone loved Mary, when she was focused and not complaining. Everyone wanted to know what Jack had to say, when it wasn’t about work. Everyone wanted the grapevine news from Susanne, when they weren’t the subject of the latest vine.


Many organizations find themselves settling for their workforce, often feeling like more of a hostage and less like an employer. When the measurement of competence becomes more about what the organization will put up with instead of about what the organization needs you might end up with an organization where nobody wants to work.

There might be the customer service representative who is often disrespectful with customers, but always arrives on time. Then there is the receptionist who is typically late or too busy to grab the ringing telephone, but puts on a smile and gets along well with everyone. Sometimes there is a boss who manages like a tyrant and motivates through fear but has the most technical knowledge of the product.

When organizations feel that tolerance is necessary for survival, they may have made survival hard to tolerate.


Dennis E. Gilbert is a business consultant, speaker (CSPTM), and coach that specializes in helping businesses and individuals accelerate their leadership, their team, and their success. He is the author of the newly released book, Forgotten Respect, Navigating A Multigenerational Workforce. Reach him through his website at or by calling +1 646.546.5553. Dennis Gilbert on Google+

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