The argument is simple, how can you retain command and authority over others, when not abiding by the same rules. This only works in highly dictatorial situations where despot leaders rule by fear. Even in military situations with strong hierarchies, soldiers put their lives at risk for the greater good knowing their peers and superiors would do the same. When people feel a different set of rules exist for the elite, rebellion has been a common historical consequence.
If we seek to gain commitment from others the principle of ‘fairness’ is paramount. This does not mean everyone is treated in exactly the same way, rather that a principle of fairness is seen to operate. Salaries will differ by role, but if this is seen as ‘fair’ reward people will accept the differential. We will accept that disability requires additional support, not available to others, in order to ensure fairness of opportunity. Problems arise when leaders do not justify the case for why differential treatment exists.
How are you leading by example in the current challenging climate?
What can you do to communicate the principle of fairness?
Where are the potential challenges to perceived fairness in your context?