Posts Tagged ‘impartiality’

the quintessential leader building trust and being trust worthy book

In the first post of this series, the excerpt from chapter 1 included a list of all the components we must develop and have to build trust and be trustworthy.

In the subsequent chapter excerpts detailing the components we need to have and develop to build trust and be trustworthy, chapter 2 discusses honesty, and chapter 3 discusses integrity.

This post, which includes an excerpt from chapter 4, discusses the component of fairness that builds trust and makes us trustworthy. 

A lack of fairness when dealing with people and situations destroys their trust in us and our trustworthiness to them. It’s unusual to see fairness in application anywhere in society today. Favoritism and partiality abounds wherever we look and wherever we are.

And that is unquintessential leadership. No matter who does it. No matter how it occurs. No matter how many excuses and justifications are given for the unfairness (and there are plenty). 

In the end, being unfair in our treatment of people is a trust and trustworthy breaker.

Building trust and being trustworthy is an integrated trait of quintessential leaders.

It is also an integrated trait that all of us – because each and every one of us leads at least one team, small or large, of people in our lives – need to develop and have as part of the core of who we are and what we are. In essence, this trait is at the center of exemplary character and conduct, and none of us should settle for anything less than this in ourselves and others.

Unfortunately, most of us settle for less. A lot less. In ourselves. In others. 

The majority of people in leadership positions today are not trust builders and they are not trustworthy. Many of us, frankly, are also not trust builders and trustworthy.

We live in a world that with no moral code as its foundation that expects trust to be non-existent or broken. Look around. It’s everywhere, including, in many cases, very close to you.

And society has become so accustomed to this that it glorifies it instead of condemning it.

Politicians who lie routinely, who line their pockets with money and perks while making decisions that hurt and destroy the people they are supposed to represent, who cheat on their wives because they can.

Arts and sports celebrities who have no regard for faithfulness to their spouses, who live hedonistic lifestyles that destroy their families, the people around them, and, eventually their lives.

Religious leaders who cheat on their wives, who cheat on their taxes, and who scam their congregations both in how they deceitfully handle the word of God and in coercive and corrupt financial matters, acquiring wealth and power in the process.

Business leaders who destroy millions of lives by deceit, fraud, and illegal actions that result in their employees and customers losing everything while they escape any kind of punitive action and instead reap obscene profits and end their tenures – only to go to another financially lucrative position – with golden parachutes that are equally obscene.

And we, as individual leaders for our teams, who cheat on our taxes, who are routinely dishonest with the children (our own and others) and other people entrusted to us, who routinely steal things from our workplaces (you most likely didn’t pay for that pen you’re using at work, so it doesn’t belong to you), who routinely break traffic laws, who will walk out of stores with something we were not charged for and never think twice about it, who will take extra money that we’re not owed in financial transactions without blinking an eye, who cheat on our spouses, who marry until “divorce do us part,” and who, as a course of habit, break confidences of family and friends, gossip about family and friends behind their backs, and destroy reputations in the process.

Maybe we haven’t thought about building trust and being trustworthy at this kind of nitty gritty level.

But until we do – and we develop and have this trait as the core of who and what we are – we will not build trust and we will not be trustworthy. And we will not be quintessential leaders.

Trust and trustworthiness is probably the single most important trait we can possess. And it is also the most fragile.

It can take a long time to build and be, but it can be broken irreparably in a single second.

Therefore, this is a lifetime work on and in ourselves that we must commit to making an integral part of our character by continually developing it, maintaining it, and growing it. 

This goal should be our goal.

But it requires courage. It requires diligence. It requires vigilance. It requires continual self-examination. It requires continual change. It requires the ability to, much of the time, stand alone to maintain.

It is not for the faint-hearted. It is not for the vacillators. It is not for the crowd-pleasers. It is not for the pretenders. It is not for the wannabes. It is not for the weak.

But if you’re reading this, I know that you’re not any of those kinds of people. Those kinds of people won’t even read this because it requires time, effort, change, and commitment, and too many of us are, sadly, either just too lazy or we just don’t care. 

Building Trust and Being Trustworthy takes an in-depth look at the “this is what it looks like in practice” aspect of each of the components we need to develop and have to build trust and be trustworthy. The second chapter discusses the component of honesty in building trust and being trustworthy.


Excerpt from”Chapter 4: The Fairness Component of Trust and Trustworthiness”

There is no simple definition of fairness, but it can best be described as having objective standards and rules that apply – and are applied – to everyone across the board without exception and being unbiased and unprejudiced in dealing with all people.

Quintessential leaders must have this trait in order to earn trust and to become trustworthy, because people will always respond favorably – even when there is a negative consequence for non-adherence – to someone who doesn’t bend the rules, play favorites, or have different sets of standards and rules for different people or groups of people.

The reality is we all encounter issues with fairness very early in life.

Often we first experience it within our families, where consciously or unconsciously, parents may have a “favorite” child and that child seemingly can do no wrong and gets away with murder, so to speak, while the other children are routinely held accountable for adhering to the family rules.

This sets up sibling rivalry, which can have devastatingly divisive consequences for the family far into the future.

We next experience it our extra-familial settings: school, sports, church, clubs, etc. We’ve all seen this first-hand in the form of teachers’ pets, the star athletes, pastors’ kids (PK’s), and within social and civic clubs like Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, etc. If we weren’t among any of these groups of people, then we often saw and experienced first-hand the unfairness of treatment.

Teachers’ pets, for example, never had to write “I will not talk in class.” 500 times, while we, even if we weren’t talking, had to write the hand-numbing sentences along with the people who were actually talking.

Star athletes could flagrantly break all the team rules and still be on the team and playing, while we, if we broke just one and were caught, were either suspended for several games or kicked off the team altogether.

Pastors’ kids – and I have a lot of good friends who grew up PK’s, so I’m not picking on them because they’re pretty acutely aware of both the preferential treatment they received as well as the fishbowl scrutiny they lived under – were often the wildest kids in church, yet they were not punished, while most of us, if we broke the rules and got caught, had the heavy hand of punishment dropped on us like a ton of bricks.

And in our adult lives, we experience the same kind of unfairness in the workplace. We watch colleagues, who are friends with or liked by their superiors, get special advantages, promotions that are not related to ability and suitability, and no consequences for circumventing or breaking organizational rules and policies or for doing illegal and immoral things.

We have worked among brown-nosers and suck-ups who take advantage of the lack of fairness that is prevalent among many people who are in leadership positions and we watch them rise through the ranks, not on merit or hard work, but because of their attachment or affiliation with upper management.

In the South, for example, there seems to be an unwritten law that, regardless of experience and qualifications, a person will not gain employment with an organization unless he or she is “from around here,” is related to someone in the organization, knows someone well-placed in the organization, or is friends with someone well-placed in the organization.”

As a Southerner I’ve often had to face some of the challenges presented by Nick Sacco on this thought-provoking blog. But the questions he raises here are bigger than the American Civil War and the stereotypical views of Southerners and Northerners in the United States based on that conflict.

The subject of racism has, over the last twelve years, as someone who led multinational teams in New York City after 9/11/01 – after watching the World Trade Center towers fall up close and personal – and had to manage and counsel in depth understandable anger in juxtaposition to the reality that “not one size fits all” big-picture view that encompassed the multinational team I led and and served, has weighed heavily on my mind.

It weighed heavily on my mind growing up in the South. When I saw prejudice first-hand in my teenage days in blueberry fields in eastern North Carolina, I took a stand against it. I suffered a considerable amount of grief for my stand, but I wasn’t fired. I realized then that those giving me grief simply didn’t understand why what they were doing was so wrong. That, for me, was where I began to learn forgiveness.

We live in a world that divides. As quintessential leaders, our job is to bridge the divides as we are able. However, we must never compromise nor sacrifice the heart, soul, and mind of what quintessential leadership entails to effect a false or temporary or meaningless peace.

We must exercise the wisdom, the discernment, the understanding to know the difference.

Exploring the Past

… or simply racist? It is clear that the legacy of the Civil War is still with us 150 years after the first shots were fired. For all of its poor word choices and cringe-worthy moments, Brad Paisley and LL Cool J’s song actually provides a glimpse into something quite revelatory. Memories are created, not self-evident. Oftentimes the memories we create about our past are used as coping mechanisms to make sense of events in our past that make us feel bad about our history and our ancestors who may have been complicit in perpetuating that history. Sometimes the goal of our memories is to also forget the past, as evidenced in the lyrics “let bygones be bygones.”

There are other interesting word choices in the song as well. The statement “Caught between Southern Pride and Southern Blame” is something many white Southerners have had to address at some point…

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If you like what you’re reading here, then check out our store at The Quintessential Leader where you can purchase, for a nominal fee, eBooks about the components of trust and trustworthiness, examples of communicating vision, how to build teams using performance planning, evaluations, and reviews, styles of control that exemplify unquintessential leadership, and unquintessential leadership pitfalls we all need to avoid.

These eBooks are worth far more in experience and the time taken to put them together than they are priced at. You, as a quintessential leader, can’t afford the cost of not having the information they contain.

You have a choice. Save a few dollars and fail to be a quintessential leader, or spend a few dollars and learn what are some of the things quintessential leaders look like – and don’t look like – and what some of the things quintessential leaders do and are – and don’t do and aren’t. This is an investment in yourself and your team.

I don’t have all the answers either. I am learning just like you. But as I learn, I share my knowledge and my experience. That’s how I become a more quintessential leader. I believe in paying forward. What do you do to become a more quintessential leader? How do you pay forward what you’ve learned and experienced?

Whether you buy my eBooks or not is not important. But what you do with what you learn and what your experience has taught, is teaching, and will teach you is.

Think about that. When it’s all said and said, that’s all we’re left with. It’s a legacy. What is your legacy going to look like?