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Seeing Beyond The Myth Of Fairness: Your Key To Business Leadership Success

The world has become more competitive, and many people are focused on the concept of fairness. In this episode, business coaches Dan Sullivan and Shannon Waller explain what fairness really means and what every entrepreneur needs to understand to avoid certain dangers.

Here's some of what you'll learn in this episode:

  • The different definitions of “fairness.”
  • Why you shouldn’t compare yourself to others.
  • How there’s a touch of envy in talking about fairness.
  • How to recognize your uniqueness and avoid false comparisons.

Show Notes:

No one knows what it’s like to be someone else.

Who you are can be modified by who other people are.

Reactive and creative are opposites.

The word “fairness” is a fairly recent creation.

The present understanding of fairness touches on equality.

Fairness is a social term, not a descriptive term.

A lot in our world supports the fact that things should be fair.

Uniqueness means looking inside and knowing who you are.

If you’re looking for fairness, you can’t find out who you are.


“Geometry” For Staying Cool & Calm by Dan Sullivan


ENVY: A Theory of Social Behaviour by Helmut Schoeck

Who Not How by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy

The Gap And The Gain by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy

10x Is Easier Than 2x by Dan Sullivan and Dr. Benjamin Hardy

Unique Ability®

Unique Ability® 2.0: Discovery by Catherine Nomura, Julia Waller, and Shannon Waller

The Kolbe A Index

Episode Transcript:
Shannon Waller: Hi, Shannon Waller here, and welcome to Inside Strategic Coach with Dan Sullivan. Dan, we've been having a lot of really interesting conversations, particularly about your latest book, which is the "Geometry" For Staying Cool and Calm, which we'll touch on. But you made another comment in a workshop the other day, and you said, "It's not about fairness, it's about uniqueness." And we're living in a fairly chaotic time at the moment. Any perspective on history would reveal that, but in current times, it's kind of a little wackadoo, to use my technical term, but I love your comment, "It is not about fairness, it's about uniqueness." So let's dive into that, because this touches on the book, but it's a way of looking at the world that's much more calming, it's much more lucid, it gives people confidence as opposed to getting all kind of freaked out all the time. So let's dive into this. I'm curious, what do you mean by, "It's not about fairness, it's about uniqueness"?
Dan Sullivan: Well, the word fairness is fairly recent in history. So if you check the Oxford English Dictionary, which is the history of all English words, 1307, something like that. And what I mean by fairness, that fairness has several meanings. One of them is a physical description, that's a fair person, and it was meant as a compliment, a fair-looking person, but it was always meant as a compliment of someone's good looks, or not that they treated other people well, they just came across as fair, usually applied to women, by the way. She was a fair-looking maid. But the present understanding of fairness touches on equality, equalness, and it's a social term, not a descriptive term, but I think why it's so recent in history, because how we understand fairness today is because so much in our world supports the fact that things should be fair.
And I think the reason is that in certain sense, the world has become more competitive and you can spend your whole life doing self-comparisons of your situation with other people's situation. Also, there's implied that you can really improve yourself on a continual basis, and other people are doing a better job of it than you are. So just to get across, the central idea here is that 2000 years ago, nobody talked about fairness in the way we do. You had to have the opportunity for people to actually improve themselves and to gain in capability and gain in advantages and gain in results. And the more that's possible for individuals, then certain people who feel that they're not succeeding will bring in fairness that it's not fair that you should have this, and there's a touch of envy about that.