3 Things a (Good) Leader Must Learn to Tolerate

Phil spoke with The Hollywood Reporter about what it takes to be a successful leader, no matter what level you work at. Read the full article.

In a position of power, there are three things that you have to be able to tolerate. One is uncertainty. You have to make your decisions without having enough information. It's never been more true than now. Executives are betting on all kinds of things: What are the distribution systems going to be like in five years? Are there even going to be networks? And the economy itself: There are a million things that are unpredictable.

The second thing is being alone. If you're on a high level, at the end of the day you're making the important decisions by yourself. Human nature being what it is, nobody likes it. At the midlevel, you can pass the important decisions off. But everybody I've seen on a high level who tries to pass off the responsibility has fallen.

The final thing someone in leadership must tolerate is hatred and misunderstanding. Hatred means you're under attack, within and outside of the community. In terms of misunderstanding, often your intent will be mischaracterized, so not only do people hate you, but they hate you for something you haven't even done.

It requires a certain amount of strength to tolerate these things. I tell people when they get promoted, "Just assume this is going to happen because it will." Nobody ever escapes it. Even if things are going well, everything can change on a dime. You need to develop some protocols or tools for functioning that you can live by, whether you're winning or losing at this given moment.

Among the set of protocols you want to develop is what's called a "turnaround"...

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