Leadership Unfairness: Reasons Leadership is Unfair to Leaders

Leadership Unfairness: 8 Unfair Aspects of Being a Leader

When people hear the phrase leadership unfairness, most initially think of leaders being unfair to those they lead. Yet leadership is also unfair to leaders.

Leadership Unfairness: Image is giant boulder w/ person standing underneath.

Leadership Unfairness: Reasons Leadership is Unfair to Leaders. Image by Selbe Lynn.

Image by Selbe Lynn via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Leadership Unfairness: 8 Ways Leadership is Unfair to Leaders

  1. They should share credit for success but blame for trouble/failure often falls to them. Great leaders embrace this as a call to serve others. Poor leaders reverse it taking credit for success and assigning blame to others.

  2. They face huge challenges with very limited resources. Not very fair. Yet great leaders see this is one of THE moments when leadership is most needed.

  3. They must lead change sometimes without sharing key information. Many mid-level leaders are tasked with leading change early on before they are allowed to share all the reasons why. This is also unfair to employees who struggle to understand the vision.

  4. There is often nobody to help them overcome their own resistance to change yet they must lead it. To lead change, leaders must show they believe in it. If they don’t, why would those they lead? Leading change requires building and networking your inspiration.

  5. The leadership title doesn’t bring support and buy-in. Leaders must earn respect and build trust. Great leaders know this produces greater success than title-based obedience. Poor leaders keep demanding respect.

  6. They face misinformed jealous employees. When employees believe leaders have it easy, leaders feel the unfair sting. Great leaders clarify the truth and mentor employees. Poor leaders resent the jealousy.

  7. Leaders frequently face public criticism. Leaders are taught to praise employees in public and criticize them in private. Yet the teams that leaders lead often give leaders feedback as a team — in other words in public. Not very fair. Yet great leaders welcome it as a chance to model openness and learning.

  8. Employees expect them to be great leaders even when the leader’s leader isn’t great. This is leadership unfairness for sure. Yet great leaders welcome this challenge to make a difference. They see the opportunity to change the culture.

If you want to be a great leader, the above list can help inspire and prepare you. Don’t let unfairness pull you under a rough current. Let it become the current of your greatness.

If you have lived this leadership unfairness, you can mentor others by answering this question:

How has the unfairness of being a leader helped you lead?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
5 Leadership Comforts That Cause Trouble

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email info@katenasser.com for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.


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2 Responses to “Leadership Unfairness: Reasons Leadership is Unfair to Leaders”

  1. Thank you Kate for this blog on leadership! It takes guts to be a true leader! There are a lot of things that need to be dealt with as a leader as you indicate, but when you have the right team in place, it’s all worth it. I appreciate your wisdom and leadership!

    • Kate Nasser says:

      It sure does Cynthia. I wrote the post because there is much misunderstanding of what it takes to be a great leader and I wanted to lend my insight to that discussion.

      Many thanks,

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