“It is not fair to ask of others what you are unwilling to do yourself” – Eleanor Roosevelt
This may sound obvious but it is one of the most challenging qualities to live by given the widely varied nature of humans. It is the quality of being fair, or free from bias or injustice; evenhandedness. Leadership fairness is the consistent, impartial and just treatment or behavior without favoritism or discrimination. Creating a sense of a level playing field for everyone you interact with is very powerful and reinforcing.

Remember that fairness is most of the time a question of perception. Everyone generally uses their own lenses to view events. Remember that. Me being a father of 2, a great parental advice that I received from someone was that “I treat my children fairly by treating each of them differently”. If no two children can be the same, what about all the people that you interact with? Yes no two individuals are the same. You must internalize the power in this statement (fairness in difference in treatment) which means it is very important to take the time to understand the people you interact with so you can see your actions through their lens perspective.

A good leader needs to make decisions that are fair and objective, apart from the way the leader may feel personally about the situation. Fairness deals in facts and not personal opinions. Being fair-minded or evenhanded is indeed an essential quality to reflect as a good leader so here are a few practical tips to help develop this: avoid playing favorite; get the opinion of everyone that is impacted even remotely by your action or a change; be very generous with your compliments whenever there is an opportunity for this.

If you are already leading a team, I would strongly recommend you read Peter Stark’s article on “6 Tips to Increase Your Reputation as a Fair Leader” – [https://peterstark.com/6-tips-to-increase-your-reputation-as-a-fair-leader/].

He discusses what unfair leadership is such as: Overlooking bad behaviors in some employees while holding others accountable; Withholding honest feedback from team members who aren’t receptive to feedback; Being personal friends with some members of the team; Inviting only certain employees to happy hours or other gatherings outside of work; Sharing information with some employees and not others; Giving only some team members desirable projects and not others; Spending quality time with some employees, while making it a challenge for other employees on the team to meet with you.

He then follows by discussing various tips that will help you such as: Be friendly, be caring…but don’t be friends with your direct reports; Recognize that equal and fair are two different issues; Be consistent; Hold all team members accountable; Welcome difficult or challenging feedback; Give honest credit and recognition;