Quiet Leadership Research: Fairness

This is the third of four articles sharing an early interpretation of the Quiet Leadership research from the first two cohorts.

    This piece considers ‘Fairness’: these results are still very small scale, so not shared as a final version, but to help me find the core narratives and ideas as part of #WorkingOutLoud.

  • We seem to feel a strong, but not universal, responsibility to be fair: we tend to leave ourselves some wriggle room.
  • People are quite strongly ambiguous when responding as to whether it is sometimes ok to be unfair.
  • There is variability (as with Kindness) as to whether Fairness is held within our intent, or our impact, although we tend to believe that the judgement of others is held in the impact.
  • When asked to whom we owe fairness, the most common answer (and contrary to apparent action) is ‘everyone’, closely followed by ‘ourselves’. This tension between stating that Fairness should be owed equally to everyone, and yet recognising (in Kindness for example) that we spend it unevenly, is interesting, and a core theme in Quiet Leadership.
  • There is a strongly held view that it is important to be fair to the people whom we manage. This probably speaks volumes to the challenges of change, which typically exists as an act of violence and loss to these very tribes.
  • Highly analytical language tends to be used to describe what fairness is: a lot of conversations about the distribution of resources (attention, resources, knowledge, power etc). Strong sense of equity related to fairness.
  • We live in a world that is not rational: fairness seems to support us through those dips and valleys.
  • The third most popular thing stated to whom we ‘owe’ fairness is ‘the earth’, which may be an interesting contemporary Dominant narrative.
  • We believe that Fairness is really important, but we also seem to retain some wriggle room for our personal operation. So in that sense, universal fairness can be judged an abstract aspiration, whilst perhaps the more pragmatic aspects of life colour our actual actions.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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