Fairness should be a fundamental principle of society, government, business, leadership, and family. The essence of fairness is knowing that decisions and behaviors are being made without favoritism or discrimination. It’s a tall order.
As the oldest child in my family, I was expected to be responsible. In my growing up years I worked hard, was careful and liked things to be right. Those attributes have followed me into adulthood.
But I also care about things being fair. I quietly seethed as a child when I felt that a younger sibling was being treated differently than I had been under similar circumstances. I still feel resentment when competitors seem to have an unfair advantage in the marketplace or receive preferential treatment.
In today’s divisive political environment, the concept of fairness often seems skewed in favor of one party or the other. When the judicial system is no longer blind toward political influence, the idea of fair and equal treatment under the law is in jeopardy.
Leaders must demonstrate fairness in their treatment of team members and customers.
The theory of Karma is a fundamental doctrine found in the Eastern religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. It is the belief in cause and effect—what one does today has consequences at some point in the future. Karma may have its origins in past actions or present behavior.
Fairness illustrates the truth of karma’s message. If you treat employees and customers badly over an extended period of time it is unlikely your business will survive. When businesses extend fairness, tell the truth, and treat everyone with respect and kindness it is likely they will prosper.
The leaders I teach and coach are regularly reminded how their attitudes and behaviors impact the team. When the only seeds being sown are based on fear or control, karma would suggest that anxiety and mistrust will be the only crops left to harvest.
When those same leaders model fairness, provide training and support, listen well, and are approachable, the employees will reward those behaviors with greater commitment and engagement.
There are universal truths leaders often ignore at our own peril. Karma should not be dismissed because it has origins in some of the world’s great and ancient religions. Fairness has its roots in the basic belief that how we treat others impacts both them and us.
Karma and fairness seem like just the messages many of today’s narcissistic leaders need to hear.
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