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Leadership Ethics


Leadership Ethics Understanding the Character and Values of a Leader By: Kevin Grant ... The golden rule: do unto others as you would want them to do unto you. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Leadership Ethics

Leadership Ethics
  • Understanding the Character and Values of a
  • By Kevin Grant
  • Regent University

Leadership Ethics
  • The purpose of this presentation is to understand
    what Leaders do and who Leaders are by looking at
    the ethical behavior of the leader.

Leadership Ethics
  • The presentation discussion will map ethical
    leadership under the following six headings
  • 1. Defining ethics
  • 2. Ethical Theories
  • 3. Becoming who we are The ethical leader
  • 4. Moral Leadership The role of the leader
  • 5. Benefiting from ethical leadership the leader
    follower relationship
  • 6. Developing a model for ethical leadership
    enhancing ethical leadership

Leadership Ethics
  • Introduction
  • The study of ethics has to do with developing
    standards for judging the conduct of one party
    whose behavior affects another (Gini, 1998, p.
  • The key principle is ethics is a communal, a
    collective enterprise not a solitary one (Gini,

Leadership Ethics
  • Gini (1998) has pointed out that ethics is about
    relationships with others.
  • Question Does the leaders ethical behavior have
    a direct influence on the ethical behavior of

Leadership Ethics
  • A survey was taken that provides answers to
    ethical behavior of leaders (Gini, 1998).
  • 1. New York Times poll in 1985 revealed 55 of
    the public believe corporate executives are
  • 2. In 1987 The Wall Street Journal noted
    one-fourth of those surveyed that ethics impedes
    a career and one-half of the executives bent the
    rules to get ahead.
  • 3. In 1990 Prentice Hall survey revealed 68 of
    the public believed unethical behavior of
    executives is the reason for decline in business
    standards, productivity, and success.

Leadership Ethics
  • In summary ethics has to do with development of
    or judging the conduct of an individual.
  • Throughout this presentation good behavior
    intends no harm and respects the rights of
    others, while bad behavior is abusing the
    rights and interests of others.

Leadership Ethics
  • I. Defining Ethics
  • The word ethics comes from the Greek word
    ethos, which means
  • a) Customs
  • b) Conduct
  • c) Character
  • Northhouse (2004).

Leadership Ethics
  • Ethics is concerned with an individuals motives
  • Ethical theory is a system of rules or principles
    that guide our decisions of what is right or
    wrong and good and bad
  • Northhouse (2004).

Leadership Ethics
  • Question Was Adolph Hitler a leader?
  • Many would answer NO-however he was a leader!
  • The question forces us to think about was he a
    good leader?

Leadership Ethics
  • The answer would probably be NO-based on our
    definition of ethics so far.
  • We might choose leaders who were good such as
    Ghandi, Lincoln, Churchill, and Martin Luther

Leadership Ethics
  • II. Ethical Theories
  • Northhouse (2004) has categorized ethical
    theories into two broad domains
  • 1) Conduct
  • 2) Character

Leadership Ethics
  • Conduct
  • Teleological Theory (outcomes of individual
  • Ethical egoism (greatest good for self)
  • Utilitarianism (greatest good for the greatest
  • Deontological Theories
  • Duty (moral obligation to the right thing)
  • Character
  • Virtue-based Theories
  • Honesty
  • courage
  • self-control
  • fairness
  • justice

Leadership Ethics
  • Concern for Self
  • Egoism
  • High
  • Utilitarianism
  • Medium
  • Altruism
  • Low
  • Concern for Others
  • Egoism
  • Low
  • Utilitarianism
  • Medium to High
  • Altruism
  • High

Leadership Ethics
  • III. Becoming Who We Are
  • Question
  • When you go to work everyday, do you leave your
    values and beliefs at home or do you take them
    with you?

Leadership Ethics
  • Your heart has its reasons that reason does not
    know (Pascal, quoted by Badaracco, 1997, p. 72).
  • Badaracco (1997) states it isnt how you feel, it
    is about what your feelings are saying.

Leadership Ethics
  • When faced with an ethical decision one has a
    definite sense of which values, commitments, and
    responsibilities are in conflict (Badaracco,
  • To find out what these are we have to trace our
    past to get to the root of ones own values.

Leadership Ethics
  • Getting to the root means looking at the four
    factors which shape us and make us who we are
  • 1. Childhood (those who influenced me)
  • 2. Education (those who taught me)
  • 3. Experience (situations which forced me to
  • 4. Religion (establishing values and beliefs)

Leadership Ethics
  • IV. Moral Leadership The Role of the Leader
  • Question How do leaders model ethical behavior?
  • Gini (1998) uses the model witness of another
    to explain how moral leaders model, pattern, or
    mentor others.
  • 1) We learn to conduct ourselves based on the
    actions of significant others.
  • 2) When there is positive peer group response to
    this behavior we begin to emulate these actions
  • 3) When the behavior is reinforced by others this
    behavior is acquired

Leadership Ethics
  • Leadership is viewed as a communal relationship
    between the leader and the follower.
  • Gini (1998) views leadership as a power and value
    laden relationship between the leader and the
    follower-the intention is make real change.

Leadership Ethics
  • Lets describe this relationship in more depth.
  • A) The leaders agenda should be not be
  • b) Leaders should view followers as having
    similar rights and aspirations

Leadership Ethics
  • Question how do we judge the ethics of a leader?
  • The leader is judged by their intentions, values,
    believes in, or stands for-we can use the word
    character to describe this

Leadership Ethics
  • According to Fisher and Martini (2004) character
    relationship to ethics is based on how we behave
    in situations that confront us daily.
  • Ethics is linked to ones moral value (Fisher
    Martini, 2004).

Leadership Ethics
  • The use of character in ethics is simply
    motivation to do what is right, or who you are
    when no one is watching (Fisher Martini,
  • Personal character influences behavior and this
    behavior is linked backed to our past or

Leadership Ethics
  • V. Benefiting From Ethical Leadership
  • Northouse (2004) presents five ways in which
    ethical leaders can benefit others.
  • 1) Respect The leader respects the individual by
    treating them as worthy human beings. From an
    ethical standpoint the leader confirms the
    persons beliefs, attitudes, and values.

Leadership Ethics
  • 2) Serve others the leader is follower
    centered. Placing others interests ahead of

Leadership Ethics
  • 3) Fair and Just Make it a top priority to treat
    all subordinates equally. No one should receive
    special treatment.

Leadership Ethics
  • 4) Honest Leaders tell the truth-they are always
    honest with others. Dishonesty brings about
    misrepresentation of reality and people lose
    faith in the leader.

Leadership Ethics
  • 5) Build community Influences others to reach a
    common or communal goal.

Leadership Ethics
  • Question can we build a model for ethical
  • The answer is yes-and it is built with a
    spiritual dimension

Leadership Ethics
  • We must view ethical leadership using a
    spiritual dimension. As Fisher and Martini
    (2004) point out its not a religious viewpoint,
    its the things that culture value such as honor,
    courage,truth, respect, goodness, and commitment.

Leadership Ethics
  • If we take this approach to ethical leadership we
    become shining lights of influence in our culture
    where character influences others.

Leadership Ethics
  • VI. Developing a Model for Ethical Leadership
  • To be more effective as moral leaders a model
    using a spiritual dimension can be considered for
    leaders to be these shining lights in their
  • Fisher and Martini (2004) argue cultures
    throughout history have adapted a concept of a
    supreme being. Its a common bond we all share.
  • This higher being provides guidelines for leaders
    who adapt the thinking doing the right thing.

Leadership Ethics
  • Model for Ethical Behavior Enhancing Ethical

Deep Roots
Take a Stand
Power of Forgiveness
Spiritual Dimension
Defining Moments
Make a Difference
The Golden Rule
Leadership Ethics
  • The model begins with the leader realizing where
    their deep roots come from. These values are
    based on the past and carry through our lives.

Leadership Ethics
  • As leaders progress through life they face
    challenges which demand a design-known as
    defining moments. A defining moment shapes and
    makes us who we are.
  • The decisions we make are based on values that we
    carry from the past.

Leadership Ethics
  • Since ethics is about communal relationships
    the spiritual side of leadership evolves because
    we work with people which is commonly known as
    the soft stuff.

Leadership Ethics
  • The spiritual dimension of ethical leadership is
    made up of four components
  • 1) The golden rule do unto others as you would
    want them to do unto you. As leaders we have an
    impact on others

Leadership Ethics
  • 2) Make a difference one person can make a
    difference in their organizations and with

Leadership Ethics
  • 3) Power of forgiveness forgiveness is something
    we do ourselves. Forgiveness liberates and a
    keeps us from carrying the guilt of the past.

Leadership Ethics
  • 4) Take a stand you either live by your values
    or you abandon them. As leaders we must stand for
    what we believe.

Leadership Ethics
  • How will we measure successful leadership?
  • The answer lies in how we will be judged by
    others by our results.

Leadership Ethics
  • Leaders will be known for their character.
  • Did we do the right thing, were we fair, were we
    good to others, and did we prompt justice?

Leadership Ethics
  • Watch your thoughts, for they become your words
  • Watch your words, for they become your actions
  • Watch your actions, for they become your habits
  • Watch your habits, for they become your
  • Watch your character, for it becomes your
  • -------Frank Outlaw-------

Ethical Leadership
  • References
  • Badaracco, J.L., (1997). Defining Moments.
    Boston Harvard Business School Press.
  • Fisher, R.S. Martini, P.J., (2004). Inspiring
    Leadership Character and Ethics Matter. Pa.
    Academy Leadership Books.
  • Gini, A., (1998). Moral Leadership and Business
    Ethics. Westport, CT. Quorum Books.
  • Northouse, P.G., (2004). Leadership Theory and
    Practice. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications.
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