Communication essentials: respect

What you tolerate is what you endorse

Are there things you simply will not tolerate?

Learning to lead is rarely easy. One of the hardest lessons to learn is wrapping your head around ‘you get what you tolerate.’ (It’s also one of the toughest things about parenting.)

Recognizing a challenge or issue isn’t the hard part. Holding people – including yourself – accountable for it, is. Otherwise … you should expect the behavior or outcome to continue.

I’m reading Iconic, by Scott McKain. In it he offers an alternative to that saying, changing ‘tolerate’ to ‘endorse.’ And when you do that … ouch. The thought of endorsing bad behavior or things I don’t approve of doesn’t sit well with me.

McKain couples this thinking with his own list of disrespectful behaviors he won’t tolerate. This serves as an absolute list to help shape his own behavior toward them. He had seven on his and encourages his readers to come up with their own. I took a stab at creating my own (although a few were on his list too):






Being fake.


When you think about not acting on any displays of these behaviors in your organization (or personal life) as ‘endorsing’ the behavior … yeah, I think you will come up with ways to hold people accountable to them.

But, just like everything else – are you communicating these behaviors? And are you doing it in a way that shows people you will not endorse them … and there are consequences for them?

Respect starts with self-respect. You can’t lead anything if you haven’t established your own standards first.

So, what does your list look like?