In today’s constantly changing business arena, technology is necessary to successfully compete and excel. The mere rumor of a computer virus can send us into a death spiral to secure invisible data. Despite this, the most deadly of the viruses striking individuals or organizations is not a computer virus. It is the disease of indifference. This disease is usually characterized by shifting blame, deflecting responsibility, or lack of concern. Regardless of how the disease manifests itself, it results in disregard for others and focuses on the survival of one individual – the carrier.

On more than one occasion, we have seen cultures where leadership was not motivated to invest in the success of the organization. While some had grown tired of the battle against the fear of change and hid in their foxholes to avoid confrontation, others believed they were en”title”d to early job retirement and joined the office putt-putt tour. Unfortunately, the disease of indifference is often contagious.

The only antidote for the disease of indifference is the passion to perform. We have to compete against the best and stop whining with the rest.

To fight the disease, one must maintain their personal wellness program, exercise high-impact time management, take daily challenges, and control their whine intake. Run the corporate obstacle course with an eye for opportunity. Maintain a strong posture for personal accountability and you will improve your own fitness as well as the health of those around you.

The disease of indifference causes some professionals to resist building friendships with clients and colleagues because they fear eventually finding themselves in a compromising situation. They believe personal commitments demand a bond that forgives poor performance and requires a blind eye. To the contrary, true personal commitment calls for honest feedback and individual accountability.

The best prevention for the disease of indifference is personal accountability. At a young age, we both learned accountability because we knew even our own mothers would fire us if we were found slacking on the job. Commitment to our colleagues increases our responsibility to deliver our best professional performance. It is a promise to honor obligations without compromise. The disease of indifference has no chance of infecting us if we exercise interest, respect, and understanding.

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Author: Creating Six Degrees

Anthony C. Gruppo, CEO Northeast Region, is responsible for leading all employees, divisions, and operations for Marsh & McLennan Agency – Northeast. Here he is focused on leadership, strategic position, and organizational development. Prior to coming to the Northeast, Anthony led companies in the Southwest, Southeast, and West Coast. Anthony is the author of three books centered on personal and organizational development.


  1. “The only antidote for the disease of indifference is the passion to perform. We have to compete against the best and stop whining with the rest.” Yet another profound and direct quote to pass on to all!

  2. Excellent choice of topic. This is a lesson which should be read and re-read by many of those in today’s workplace who find themselves stagnating.

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