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Friday, February 20, 2009

Focusing too much attention on the unimportant

You've heard that old saying "making a mountain out of a mole hill?" Wow has that been true around my workplace lately. Things that really are (at least seem to me) insignificant have dominated peoples attention lately. And not that in some fashion these things are not entirely without merit, but they are things that could and should be handled with relative quickness and ease.

I think we are in trouble as leaders when we focus too much attention on fairness and equality and not enough attention on equity. Sorry to be the one to break the news to you but life simply is not fair sometimes and not everyone deserves to be treated equal. But we can all be treated equitably. Sometimes leadership is just tough and calls for that little extra something that leaders seem to possess (don't ask me to articulate that little extra something... you just seem to recognize it in some people).

I wish everyone could be treated as an equal but truth be known I don't even treat my kids like that and if you're honest, you probably don't either. People require more at some times than others. It is not fair, and it is not equal treatment, but it is equitable based on their needs and what's going on in their lives at the time.

And in those same regards, someone once said that you could tell the health of an organization by the size of its policy manual. The thicker the policy manual the unhealthier the organization. Unhealthy organizations are built on fairness and equality so everything has to be written down and policies have to be made. Healthy organizations understand that circumstances change and although situations might be similar, the circumstances surrounding those situations can be radically different, thus the need for equity vs. fairness and equality.

I know I'm ranting but I challenge each of of to focus on the important, base decisions on equity and not completely on fairness and equality, and lead people to the desired horizon. Leadership is not easy and not everyone will like or appreciate your decisions all the time. Shoot, you might not even be liked sometimes, but leaders are lead by vision and purpose, not by the whims and likes and dislikes of people (which can get us into trouble).

Ask yourself, where have I made decisions that have back fired because they were based on the idealization of fairness and equality instead of equity? How can I do better next week?

Lead Strong...

Shawn

1 comment:

meganrose said...

I love you daddy.
I enjoy reading your blogs....especially when I should be paying attention to my profs!
:)