I said that any leader guilty of it could expect the same result as holding a hand-grenade with the pin out, i.e.:
I have more than once in this blog looked to sport to provide an analogy. With favoritism as my subject, I didn’t have to look very far.
One of the greatest motorsport categories in the world is Formula One. Different teams tend to prosper from one year to the next, of course. This year it’s the Red Bull team.
One of the biggest events of the year is the Grand Prix held at Silverstone in the UK. At this year’s event, the Red Bull team driver Sebastian Vettel’s new-design front wing failed in qualifying. There was only one other new wing available—on his team mate Mark Webber’s car.
Now—Vettel was marginally in front in the driver’s championship. For this reason the team principal (boss) decided to take Webber’s wing and give it to Vettel for the race.
The outcomes of this crass decision (crash decision!?) were many and damaging:
- one disaffected Red Bull driver wonders openly at a press conference why he’s signed for another year at the team
- the press reception is very hostile
- the disaffected driver wins the race with the old front wing… and with the comment ‘Not bad for the number two driver’
- open hostility between the two engineering teams within Red Bull
- difficult media questions
- damaged brand?
I put a question mark after the last bullet point because that outcome is not yet known. But it is possible that the sponsors will not like an association between their brand and unfairness.
So… my question to you is…
Are you guilty of unfairly preferring one of your direct reports or key personnel to another?
If so, what problems are you storing up for the future?
Tags: analogy brand boss crash damaged brand deadly sin favoritism formula one grand prix hand grenade leader mark webber media questions motorsport categories nasty open hostility red bull sebastian vettel silverstone sin team mate unfairness