Effective Leaders: Why Fair Bosses Fall Behind
In management, fairness is a virtue. Numerous academic studies have shown that the most effective leaders are generally those who give employees a voice, treat them with dignity and consistency, and base decisions on accurate and complete information.
But there’s a hidden cost to this behavior. We’ve found that although fair managers earn respect, they’re seen as less powerful than other managers—less in control of resources, less able to reward and punish—and that may hurt their odds of attaining certain key, contentious leadership roles.
Our research, which included lab studies and responses from hundreds of corporate decision makers and employees, began with the age-old question “Should leaders be loved or feared?” We went a step further, asking, “Can you have respect and power?” We found that it’s hard to gain both.
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