Tag Archive - fairness


Leadercast 2014: Malcolm Gladwell

In the afternoon I had the opportunity to hear from one of my personal favorite communicators Malcolm Gladwell.

Deterrence: When people decide to obey an authority or not, they make a calculation. If the cost of breaking the rule is greater than the benefit of breaking the rule, they will obey the rule.

  • Deterrence is a very low level motivator of and a frequently employed tactic by poor leaders
  • Deterrence isn’t the real reason that people obey the law or follow leaders…rather it’s legitimacy

3 Components of Legitimacy:

#1 Respectful: We consider authority to be legitimate if we are treated with respect

#2 Fairness: We will submit to authority if we believe that it’s fair. The principles are fairly and consistently applied to everyone.

#3 Trustworthy: We will follow a leader if the administration of that authority is trustworthy.

  • To be an effective leader – it maters not just what you say but how you say it – process is fundamentally important
  • As a leader it doesn’t matter if you are 100% in the right, it matters how you execute your leadership in the moment – or you lose trust – and trust it the foundation of leadership
  • When people don’t follow leaders, the first question to ask is not what’s wrong with the followers, but what’s wrong with the leader…responsibility begins at the top
  • Nothing good happens in any organization unless the leader starts with themselves
  • When people feel like they’re not heard they rebel

Posted in Leadership