Another shooting. And another shooting. And then a revenge shooting. So far in 2016 there have been 229 mass shooting events on American soil. It’s only July. In my status update I wrote that I am considering going to a peace rally. Truly not something I thought I would ever do. Danielle, a fabulous mom from Calgary, commented that she has started to dislike the word “tolerance.” Her point is that if we only ever “tolerate” we will never get to “collaborate.”

My bestie, Kelly, and I go back almost two decades. Our kids went to the same Catholic school. Kelly’s parents were married for almost 60 years until her father passed away. Kelly herself married right out of college and to this day she and her husband, who are both successful in their careers, lovingly dote on each other. Two children, college degrees, both in jobs they like, plus a supportive family who all live in Los Angeles. I love Kelly because she is the most compassionate and positive person I know. Never have I heard her say a bad word about anyone. She is my pillar whom I leaned on through my darkest times. Politically, Kelly is conservative. We all want to be like Kelly because she makes it look so good and so easy even through her dark moments and struggles.

Then there is me. The wildcard who is for some reason determined to make a lot of very big and very hurtful mistakes. Married a pathological liar and alcoholic, endured a painful divorce, runs creative businesses, has big ideas, big plans, wants to change the world. My strong-willed daughter is an artist currently figuring out how to turn a bohemian lifestyle into a career in the arts. Like I did. I’ve never remarried; instead I bumbled around looking for love in all the wrong places. Attracted to larger-than-life personalities and colorful characters. Currently  committed to a pretty great guy. Still sometimes I wonder what my fear is – that god forbid I could be bored for a moment! Always going somewhere, exploring, looking, searching, exclaiming, losing, finding. I am a pillar of support for thousands of creative entrepreneurs, and my women. Gosh, my heart goes out to the women who work so hard, push so hard, and have to overcome still so much just to get a slice of happiness. I am liberal. You may like me because I always find a way out of it and have great stories of overcoming dark moments and struggles that I love to share.  My goal is to take as many with me to the top as I can.

Between Kelly and me, our views clash in certain areas, yet our friendship has never been affected. Even after a night of one-too-many delicious Cosmos that Kelly’s husband serves up and a heated political discussion, we still check in the next day and laugh about the passion that was displayed. And we move on.

Were we to simply tolerate each other’s viewpoints, there’s a good chance at some point in the last 20 years we would have had that friendship-ending blowout. When the conservative side and the liberal side simply CLASH. This is much like what we are seeing when we turn on the news. Black vs. white, Republican vs. Democrat, citizen vs. state.

Tolerance teaches, “Let them be, they don’t know better. They are different and we won’t get through to them.” It’s a band-aid solution that works for a short while until something major happens. And then there’s a catastrophic blow up.

What if we were to teach COLLABORATION and even NEGOTIATION instead of tolerance? Is Kelly’s side better than mine? Is my way better than Kelly’s? To us it doesn’t matter because we ADMIRE what the other has that we don’t. We share our ideas and we learn and grow.

And sometimes we have to change our opinions when we recognize that we made a mistake, or when what we thought was right has been proven wrong. We make adjustments because our goal is not to tolerate but to collaborate. Instead of giving up on finding a middle ground, we focus on a positive outcome. Peace is the initiation of a process that requires both parties/sides/opinions to give and take.

Tolerance is a bad word because it allows us to continue as we are, without asking us to consider, grow, or change.

In my heart I believe this shift in mindset will be initiated by women, starting with the power of women’s intuition. Female core values include—amongst many others things—community, inclusion, and collaboration. How are you going to contribute?

At her lowest point, Beate Chelette was $135,000 in debt, a single mother, and forced to leave her home. Only 18 months later, she sold her image licensing business to Bill Gates in a multimillion dollar deal. Chelette is a nationally known ‘gender decoder’ who has appeared in over 60 radio shows, respected speaker, career coach, consummate creative entrepreneur, and author of Happy Woman Happy World. Beate is also the founder of The Women’s Code, a unique guide to women leadership and personal and career success that offers a new code of conduct for today’s business, private, and digital worlds. Determined to build a community of women supporting each other, she took her life-changing formula documented it all in a book Brian Tracy calls “an amazing handbook for every woman who wants health, happiness, love and success!”

Through her corporate initiative “Why Acting Like a Girl Is Good For Business” she helps companies with gender diversification training, and to develop and retain women.

If you’d like to book Beate as a speaker on New Leadership Balance or Creative Entrepreneurship for your next event please connect with me.

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