When Apologies Aren’t Enough

Team Development

Justice: A Leader’s Singular Responsibility Part 1

Our sole responsibility is to respect the personhood of others.  As a leader we must be just and pursue justice. Only then can we have right relationships with others and those who follow us.

Anyone in a leadership position who doesn’t care about the sanctity and sacredness of another human being’s dignity is only a mirage of a leader. Your people choke on the sands of excuses and inconsistent standards while you fail at leading.

Justice is a leader’s singular responsibility. This is an area of integrity that must foremost in every decision and act. It means being attuned to the common good.  We must find ways to enhance the common good and use the organization’s available resources for that cause.

Justice must be served to individuals, the organization and society. When we execute justice in all 3 areas then we become transformative leaders and our organization becomes a ‘just’ & transformative organization.

Justice for Individuals

Justice requires us to focus on the quality of our one-on-one relationships. It is recognition of our social nature and underscores our interdependence and mutuality.

What does this mean?  It means separating our emotions from the requirements of job duties. Your hardest worker may be the person you don’t want to go have a drink with after work – they shouldn’t be punished for that. If there is an opportunity for coaching better behavior – then coach.

When a wrong has been committed regardless of intention towards an individual, we have to do more than apologize – we must restore that person’s worth and dignity.  To expect them to “get over it” and “move on” is not justice. Here’s some insight – as humans we can withstand any error or slight if justice is served on the other end. We are wired for justice and will seek it out even if it means leaving for another company.

If a clerical error prevented a person from being considered for a job interview or promotion, your responsibility is to find out what they need to restore their dignity. To some it will be a future opportunity, to others it’s increasing current responsibilities or maybe an opportunity to see other parts of the company.

To say “it shouldn’t have happened” doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen again. A person’s restitution shouldn’t have to come with the price of a retainer. Always affirm, protect and enhance the worth of those around you.


1 thought on “When Apologies Aren’t Enough”

Comments are closed.