AUDIO: The 3 Benefits of Intolerance
Ilove people. That’s never been a problem for me. In fact, I love them so much, I make excuses for them. I rush in to re-state their statements, to smooth over their rough edges, to explain their “unexplainables.”
The Rodeo Clown
I was watching something insane. Guys climbing on the back of bulls weighing thousands of pounds with horns; big enough to go right through you. And those bulls were mad. The power of their bodies made the rider look like a rag doll as they flapped back and forth. In only a matter of seconds the rider would be thrown from their mount and OBVIOUSLY run for their lives from the raging bull. But, in steps the nameless, faceless, fearless rodeo clown to distract this animal so the rider who caused all this ruckus could get away safely. What an idiot!
As Christian leaders, apparently, it’s assumed we’re supposed to be tolerant about everything and everyone. It’s like we’re the rodeo clowns of the leadership world. We’re supposed to distract from poor behavior, defiant attitudes and throw ourselves in front of any well-deserved consequences to their actions. No matter what happens, we’re expected to live up to some man-made perspective of what God’s love looks like or what Jesus would do.
Have you ever noticed some team members want you to be “Christian” when it suits them but are angry and intolerant when your Christian values create expectations for their behavior?
I’ve seen people proclaim Christian leaders as hate mongers if they stand against societally acceptable behaviors which are contrary to their beliefs. I’ve seen mass categorizations take place which label believers in Christ as intolerant because they have the NERVE to express their beliefs, their sentiments or their concern for a world being pulled down into darkness.
It seems in the divided political environment we’re facing that “Being intolerant is only be acceptable if you do it in the name of TOLERANCE”!
I believe there is a time to be intolerant. There is a time to unite even when uniting means clarifying the divide that already exists.
There are three powerful benefits that exist only when we are willing to be intolerant as leaders:
#1. The benefit of being on the same page. Nothing great ever happens when people aren’t on the same page. I believe in gathering opposing viewpoints and being open to debate. But, the benefit stops when the team cannot agree on the mission itself. Healthy, passionate debate to reach a unified goal is powerful and synergistic. Ongoing battle against the mission or the WHY behind it cannot be tolerated.
#2. The benefit of sanctuary. A team in pursuit of a significant Breakthrough must have a place of sanctuary. The nucleus of fearless thought, creativity and traction only occur in environments free from fear. This is like a Maslow’s hierarchy of needs paradigm. Only when our basic needs of trust, friendship and faith exist can vulnerability lead to Breakthrough. A culture that fosters defense mechanisms inside the team cannot be tolerated.
#3. The benefit of synergy. There is nothing more powerful than belonging to a team that knows how to work in synergy. I love the biblical analogy of being parts of the body. When teams attack other parts of the same body, often through intolerance or selfishness, they are cancerous. As a leader, you can’t allow cancer to exist in your team. It will divide and disrupt the synergy your team needs for Breakthrough. You cannot tolerate cancer in your team.
Every legitimate team member should feel liberated as part of the team family. A Breakthrough Leader tolerates the individual, but must be intolerant of the characteristics that demean and destroy the team.
Ultimately, if any team member chooses intolerance as their weapon, that behavior cannot be tolerated within the team. This isn’t about passing judgment. This is about Breakthrough leadership.
Add your comments to the conversation: Have you been tolerating negative behavior that is effecting your entire team? Knowing that this CAN NOT be tolerated, what changes can you make to heal your team? Post your reply below.