Life Isn’t Fair, so Why Should I Be?

Earlier this week in an exercise the question, “Why do you always have to play fair, life isn’t…” was asked.

The readers of this blog know that I have a firm belief that the things that are hard to measure make a measurable difference in our success and quality of life. I am talking about things like, Truth, Generosity, Attitude and so on.  When the question of fairness hit the radar my reaction was, “Hell yes, we have to play fair.” However, do we?

The exercise had us look at a trait we were particularly proud of, at the moment. For me it was the reputation I have built, with colleagues and friends for being straightforward and fair. The authors’ premise is that, we developed that attribute as a response against a behavior that we observed. In this case, it might be against something or an experience of unfairness.

She then asks us to consider, “What could be good about that “not fair” side?” That got me thinking of how I could perhaps win more sales, beat the competition a little handier, win more contests and more.

How often do we hear, “Life Isn’t fair?” We all just accept that as a fact. In addition, we often experience life as unfair. There is a school of thought, which would argue that “unfairness” is a natural law. Therefore, friends how do we as leaders answer the question, “Why do you always have to play fair?” Do we? Are we rewarded by not playing fair? Really?

I argue that yes, we have to play fair, even when we might lose. The reality is that when we win by not playing fair, people notice and more importantly, they remember (not that that should be our motive). In today’s wired world, they also share. It no longer sharing with a friend or two it can be they are sharing with thousands of people.

Perhaps more to the point there is the question of what does it do to us and our organizations when we do or do not play fair.

Life isn’t fair should you be?

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