The Favourite

Have you seen the film yet. Well if not you will have heard about it. With out giving away too much it is about the rivalry between two women to be the Queens “favourite “. Being the Queens favourite confers status and influence. Considerable influence. Either on matters of state or enhancing the individual’s standing in society. The film also shows senior politicians passion for duck racing! 

The Queens interactions with senior politicians shows the power of the monarch, all the more disturbing as both the cinema audience and the 18th century politicians know that these arbitrary decisions are the result of the influence of the Queens favourite. Which of course is why those in power should not have favourites. And yet. Chief executives and directors do.

Oh we all say we don’t because we recognise it would upset the others but there is often one persons view that carries more weight than the others, one person who we give the tasks that are really important because they can be relied on to get it done, this is the same person we confide in. But is having a favourite the same as showing favouritism? 

If the individual was shown special treatment, not required to make the same level of budget savings, allowed to fill posts whilst others were subject to a recruitment freeze, 
retain their directorate communications team as opposed to having it incorporated into the corporate team. Or may be favouritism is the indulgence shown to an individual they can get away with behaviour that would not be tolerated in others such as missing management team meetings, avoiding evening meetings, opting out of attending user groups or taking 3 weeks holiday when no one else is allowed to take more than two. 

If you find it hard to believe chief executives and directors would have favourites do you recognise that some individuals are out of favour? Openly criticised, more often asked to justify their actions/decisions, often the last to know what’s in the bosses mind, finding it harder to get the chief executives/ directors ear.

If chief executives and directors have favourites and those they dislike or distrust then it is the mark of a good leaders that neither the individuals nor the staff know who they are. The opposite is also true. 

Blair Mcpherson former Director, author and blogger 


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