Make A Difference: Tolerate Undesirable Behaviors

Talent Plus Talent Plus

May 15, 2017 Leadership

Mothers with children of a certain age often pass on this pearl of wisdom. My mother did:
Don’t get married thinking you’re going to change those things you don’t like about your partner. Marry as is and consider any change a bonus.

Managers who want to make a difference need to extend this piece of wisdom into their work lives. Sometimes otherwise good managers get led astray by the idea that effectively managing people means changing who they are to conform more closely to some ideal or standard. Nothing could be further from the truth. You need to accept people as they are. Unfortunately, doing so means you may have to tolerate some undesirable qualities and behaviors.

In our podcast on this topic, Larry shares a true story about how failing to tolerate undesirable behaviors led to even more undesirable outcomes for his company. Then, he and our colleague, Kyle Bruss, discuss specific steps you can take as manager so that you don’t throw out all the value people can add with the bathwater of the things you find annoying about them.

On all our podcasts and blog posts, you have an opportunity to talk back to us through comments and emails. We hope to hear from you! Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!


This is part of a series highlighting excerpts from our new book, Managing to Make a Difference. Next up: Go Ahead, Get Close to Your People. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see the latest blog updates.

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