We continue our ten-part series on Leadership Characteristics based on a Harvey McKay weekly blog.
The research for these ten words came from a four-year series of executive seminars conducted by Santa Clara University and the Tom Peters Group/Learning systems. This list first appeared in Management Review Magazine). These thoughts are my own creation.
Leadership Trait #6
Leadership is at best a balancing act. Bosses demand success and profits, stock holders demand increased earnings, employees demand fair treatment and acceptable working conditions.
If you've been following this series of blogs, you know how I love to do a word-study based on synonyms.
When we consider the word “fair-minded”, we find this:
That is an impressive list of words.
So, fair-minded leadership is balancing as many of the elements of management as possible in a fair and even way.
Ah, that is the challenge. I wish I could give you a hit list of “Ten Ways to be Fair” but that list probably doesn't exist.
What I do know is that a leader should strive to balance life in the work place for all concerned. Here are some examples of what “balance” is not.
-Juggling the financial numbers to look “right” yet hiding the true picture
-Placing employees in unjust and unsafe work situations
-Favoring management’s profit over employee success
Out of the string of synonyms listed above, the one word that stands out most to me is the word “equitable”.
Equitable is huge.
I heard about a leader in a soft drink company who was trying to gain market share. He came up with the bright idea of syncing their soft drink machine prices to the temperature outside. If it was an extremely hot day the prices would soar. On a cooler day, when the demand was less, the price would drop.
Fortunately he did not get to stick around very long after that miscue. That was a glaring example of favoring the company and damning the consumer. Where is the fair-mindedness in that kind of thinking?
Want to be a fair-minded leader?
Allow me to close with this thought from the ancient scriptures. It is advice worth considering.
Whatever is true
Whatever is noble
Whatever is right
Whatever is pure
Whatever is lovely
Whatever is admirable
If anything is excellent or praiseworthy – then think about these things.”
Now that is equitable thinking.
I like fair-minded!
P Michael Biggs
One Word at a Time