Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fairness Is Overrated, Says New Book

I came across an interesting book from Nelson Books, Fairness Is Overrated: And 51 Other Leadership Principles to Revolutionize Your Workplace, by Tim Stevens, a team leader at an executive search firm specializing in helping churches and ministries find great leaders.

The book launched January 6 and is sure to get some buzz just for its catchy title.  The author explains why a resume is worthless, how to guard against career-ending mistakes, why Facebook and Twitter should be used at work, and why it’s messy to work with friends.

Chapters include headings that include:
·         Live a life with margins
·         Get naked
·         Find leaders, not doers
·         Teams trump personality
·         The pain of growth
·         The five stages of failure

One of my favorite chapters is one about asking questions.  He says: “A person who doesn’t ask questions comes off as proud and untouchable.  There is an air of superiority that emanates from the know-it-all.  He or she may not know it, but others don’t enjoy being around someone who has all the answers.”

I certainly identify with one who always inquires about something.  There is always something to be learned, and knowledge invites more knowledge – and more questions.

Tim leaves us with dozens of nuggets of leadership nuggets, including these:

“Above all, leadership requires humility.  People will follow a humble leader anywhere.”

“Leadership is not an exact science.  If you do the same thing twice, it can be exactly right in one instance and the absolute wrong action in the next situation.”

“Great leaders balance the skills of believing the best in their people, courageously having course-correcting conversations, and spotting the next great team member.”

“Trying to be fair often produces a culture of comparison and jealousy.  The best leaders know that fairness is overrated.”

“There are four types of leadership: leading in (self-leadership), leading up (your boss), leading out (your peers), and leading down (those who report to you).  Every person, whether you are in the corner office or a cube farm, has responsibility for the first three.”

“That is why I want to build guardrails into my life; Mark Beeson, my good friend, calls them “rumble strips.”  Those are the bumpy grooves on the shoulder of a road that keep you from going into the ditch.  Without rumble strips, you could be in the ditch before you know it.

No one is going to put rumble strips in your life for you.  That is up to you.  Your rumble strips may not be the same as mine, and mine may not be the same as yours.  But everyone needs rumble strips.  It all begins with self-leadership; before we talk about leading a church or a business, we must talk about being a leader worth following.”


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Brian Feinblum’s views, opinions, and ideas expressed in this blog are his alone and not that of his employer. You can follow him on Twitter @theprexpert and email him at He feels more important when discussed in the third-person. This is copyrighted by BookMarketingBuzzBlog © 2015

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