With Them Vs Against Them: How Justice Relates To Leadership

Our system of justice is adversarial. The state tries to convict the accused of their crimes, the defense tries to protect the accused by challenging the state’s case. It’s through this system we have decided that justice is done.

Many people use a similar process in their lives. They make an accusation against the world. They cast themselves in the noble fight for justice and the world is their adversary. When you do this you are always against people.

You are up against the other people looking for a parking space, up against the other people lining up to buy groceries, up against the people who disagree with you, and up against the people you love to be more right, safe, and justified.

But if you’re against someone you can’t ever really be with them. Which is why leaders are always finding a way to be with people. You and I are here trying to get home. I can let you into my lane, because we are working together. You and I are here trying to buy food, so I motion when a new lane opens up. You and I are trying to give and receive love together, so I take responsibility, I share my needs, I am willing to be vulnerable first.

Leadership, true transformational leadership asks us to get with people, to stand with them and for them. So long as you are up against people your capacity for leadership will be limited. So long as you are with people facing the challenges of life your capacity for leadership increases.