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Would you rather be seen as being a fair leader or a just one?

SmartPulse — our weekly nonscientific reader poll in SmartBrief on Leadership — tracks feedback from more than 190,000 business leaders. We run the poll question each week in our e-newsletter.

Would you rather be seen as being a fair leader or a just one?

  • I’d rather be seen as being fair: 44%
  • I’d rather be seen as being just: 56%

Justice Beats Fairness. Life’s not fair. Not everyone will be happy with the decisions you make and there will always be complaints about fair treatment. Being just is a difficult task. It requires leaders to be deliberate about how they spend their time (not everyone will get the same access), how they discipline, hand out promotions and assignments, and ultimately treat people. If you’re ever feeling “fairness pangs” where you have to make a tough call that isn’t necessarily fair, at least ensure justice is on your side.

Mike Figliuolo is managing director of thoughtLEADERS, author of “Lead Inside the Box: How Smart Leaders Guide Their Teams to Exceptional Results” and “One Piece of Paper: The Simple Approach to Powerful, Personal Leadership.”