Ethical Leadership

In today’s society, many Americans do not believe that ethics are essential component of the workplace. We can look at Enron, Arthur Andersen and numerous other organizations to see what can happen when managers behave unethically. While many individuals say that he/she is ethical, we often find ourselves in situations where living up to our ethical beliefs is difficult. These are the situations that separate good (and effective) leaders from everyone else.

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An effective and ethical leader makes others feel good about themselves, as ell as the work they are doing. The leader has a vision of what she/he wants to achieve and can communicate that vision to others in a way that makes people want to be part of it. If a leader demonstrates a strong belief in something, it inspires others to work towards the leader’s vision, even when a situation might appear to be almost hopeless. An effective and ethical leader must be an excellent communicator, able to speak the many languages of the individuals within the groups they lead.

A good deader needs to pay attention to the facts and then makes decisions based on objective analysis of those facts. As well as communicating her/his vision, good leaders know they need to communicate “what’s in it for you” in order to have employees go the extra mile. An effective and ethical leader needs to be courageous, able to make decisions without hesitation, and maintains integrity of word and deed. Sound judgment and sensibility are also features of a leader, with loyalty, enthusiasm, endurance, ND initiative rounding out the ever expanding list.

Ethical leaders not only “walk the walk”, they “talk the talk”. In addition, if you maintain a “can-do” attitude as a leader, you are likely to attract people who will support you in achieving your goals. Effective leaders understand that different people are motivated by different things. For employees motivated by a need for achievement, a leader explains how the task offers an opportunity to take on a challenging but achievable goal.

For employees with a desire for power, effective leaders tell them how her/his participation can bring them prestige and lead to greater opportunities. For employees who are motivated by affiliation, good leaders know that they need to hear how they will be part of a team of people working together. In conclusion, ethical leaders maintain high standards and deal honorably with others. They have the courage to put ethics first and speak up for what they believe in.