Ethical Leadership – Why is it important?
Imagine you are requested to make a ground-breaking decision which makes you uncomfortable? Your position is at risk, and should you not make the decision, you could be fired…
As a leader, we are bound to encounter challenges. The way these challenges are dealt with and overcome, determines who we are as an individual, and the character we portray to others. How we as individuals demonstrate a code of conduct that is acceptable and appropriate is based on our “moral principles”.
Ethical leadership explores our moral principles, and how we apply these principles in our day to day life. This reflects on our values, and our accomplishments as leaders. By being able to accept responsibility for our decision making, understanding the importance of transparency, we inspire others to follow this example.
To become this type of leader, one needs to honestly examine their beliefs, thinking and goals. By taking responsibility of this, ethical leaders better understand the way in which their own actions affect (and impact) other people. Understanding the importance of a cultural framework that others willingly follow sets up a platform for success.
Ethical leadership is working towards common goals and embracing common values and vision. TWO critical components of an Ethical leader to successfully achieve this include:
- Be the VOICE of ethics
- Enlightening others about common ethical issues happening around the world, governance frameworks and other influential factors, helps individuals understand the impact of corrective behaviour, both personally and at workplace.
- Setting an Example
- Ethical leadership is leading by example. It’s one thing to be the voice, BUT your actions will always speak louder than your words!Setting the right behaviour within an organisational culture starts from the top. By practicing and demonstrating the use of transparency, honesty and lack of bias, ethical leaders earn the respect of their peers. Respect and integrity drives followers!
Successful leaders bring value. As an ethical leader, taking responsibility and accountability in bringing value is key to success, both personally and your organisation. Having a strong commitment to create a flow in communication and setting the example will create loyalty and productivity.
Remember this…”the decision/s you make today; will they allow you to sleep with a clean conscious tonight?”