When you think about leadership, what words come to mind? I usually read about how leaders are charismatic, commanding, transformational... But fairness is not something often seen in a list of leadership qualities. Should it be? A recent paper (Social Science Research Network) reveals how fairness is associated with greater commitment to organizations. groups, and society, higher task performance, more organizational citizenship behavior, and less employee theft. In short, .
Don’t most of us believe that we treat people fairly? Then, why are there so many bad leaders? I think that fairness, in and of itself, can be vague. In addition to making decisions that are fair, you must effectively communicate the context.
If you want to be a better leader, be honest about the reasons behind your decisions. Create processes that are transparent, so that people understand how decisions are made. Listen to both sides of the story, and make sure everyone’s voice is heard.
If you think that is easier said than done—you are right. But if you think that it isn’t worth the time and effort, you probably have a future in politics (where cronyism beats fairness hands down).