We so often hear children respond in a situation by saying the simple line, “that’s not fair!”. We try to explain to them that there are times we get what we want, and others where we don’t. We hope that through repetition, the lesson will be easier to interpret as they grow older.
But does it?
We are all guilty of the “that’s not fair” syndrome; it is a universal language we all speak.There will always be situations where bad things happen to good people – adversity is simply a fact of life. The opposite also holds as well — good things happen to bad people.
Maybe it’s just the way it’s supposed to be.
You know, fate.
However, as a leader, it is your responsibility to navigate situations that may seem one-sided, so as to not cause a distraction. You achieve this through connection, effective communication, clear standards, and most importantly, by setting the example. Too often in times of adversity, leaders fear being on the side of an unpopular opinion, and will support the argument that a situation or condition “is not fair.” Remember, being a leader can a lonely job. Although connecting with those under your leadership is critical, so is honesty.
You must have the courage and restraint to stand tall and represent the interest of all involved. Be brief, factual, embrace the reality, and position it as a challenge — do not allow the barrier to divert your efforts or goals. If done consistently, your skills as a confident leader — even in the face of undesirable conditions — will benefit the team. You will create empowered, no excuses, confident, critical-thinking followers.
It is time for people to understand that things are not going always to go their way. It’s called adversity, and if you can deal with it, your perspective will change as well. Instead of evaluating things as fair or unfair, you will consider it a challenge.
As for your team, instead of looking for excuses, they will discover alternative ideas. Instead of wasting time complaining, they will be timely in finding alternatives. Instead of wallowing in the “that’s not fair,” they will become innovators of adversity. Simply put, you have the opportunity to go from good to great in your leadership role.
A harsh reality is that too many disappointments may be a warning sign that your expectations are way off. When you consistently feel a lack of respect or trust, you may be right — but it also may be the perfect opportunity for you to exercise some self-awareness. Look introspectively, be vulnerable, and ask yourself some tough questions. Is your skin too thin? Are your expectations too high? Are your efforts sincerely exceeding expectation or they actually what is expected? Be truthful with yourself so you can adjust your attitude and mindset.