Ethics in simple words is doing the right thing through the right methods. It is the base for building a good society. Ethical leadership is knowing and sticking to your values and using them for common good. It is about doing the right thing not only for one’s personal benefits but also for the benefits of the team. A good and ethical leadership is when the leader leads ethically in their attitude and through good interactions.
“Acting as an ethical leader in today’s society shows true courage and strength. Everyday we are faced with ethical decisions whether it is big or small. How a leader chooses to handle ethical conflicts in the workplace sets the example for everyone. As a leader, it is critical that you deal with any unethical behavior strictly while levying the appropriate consequences. It is also important that any unethical behavior be dealt with immediately without excuses given(Lacey,January 10 2011)”.
Characterstics of an Ethical Leader –
Ethical leaders are the ones who do the right thing at the right time and for the correct reasons. And how its done are by the following ways-
- The need to define the organization’s values- It is very important to set a good example for others in his or her organization as they follow the leader. It’s very necessary for the leaders to know their company’s values, rules and the ways of conduct as it is their responsibility to enforce it or make sure their subordinates follow it as well.
An example to mention would be that of the organization 3M, the global leaders in technology. What has been seen in the organization is that they are well known for following their values. Everyone from top to bottom positions are known to breathe the values.
- Set the Tone- Once the company’s core values are well known throughout the organization, the right working environment should be set. The leader must demonstrate it through practice. Consequences for those who do not follow these and rewards for the ones who have acted upon the rules and regulations well must be given.
- Must recognize ethical dilemas- in order to recognize ethical dilemas one must prepare himself in advance. He or she must imagine themselves in a situation which could happen not that imagining every situation is possible but such preperations are bound to help you get ready for your decision making as you will be well stuck with your values. It is important to rethink the decisions before triggering it. One must take a decision and go through its consequences.
- When doubt arises- everyone is not perfect and it is not possible for one to be a 100percent on everything. He or she will reach a state where they might feel that their decision might not be the right one. He or she must calm down and think logically at times likes these.
Model of Ethical Leadership-
The most important model for ethical leadership would be the 4-V Framework. It brings a connection between the internal and external. The internals including ones beliefs and values whereas the external being behaviors and actions. The connection for the purpose of common good. The 4-V’s are as follows-
- Values- Ethical Leadership is very good knowledge about our core values and staying committed to them. It is important to know the values at the very beginning of our identities. By doing this we start placing our values with each and every decision that we take in our lives.
- Vision- our actions are to be well framed and the ability to frame these are known as having a vision.
- Voice- by giving out your vision and enforcing it on others through communication is a good way of motivating your subordinates and making sure they are on the right track as well.
- Virtue- Virtue is the bringing together of all the mentioned V’S. it’s achieved upon by good practice and implementation.
Company’s practicing ethical way’s.
Salesforce.com- Salesforce.com is well known for their ethical practices. They donate millions of dollars for the purpose of education and charity. They motivate this in their employees by giving them 6 days off a year, so that they can spend some time in doing any kind of charity work they are interested in.
Company known for negative practicing-
Mattel known for their toys were caught up in controversial ways as they soon were known to produce hazardous toys. In order to cut costs the company soon gave their manufacturing part to China but the final returned product was a massacre. The toxic lead paint was well over the limit and the other parts were seen as trouble if swallowed by kids.
Unethical ways will give you success but it’s been proven that this type of success never stays for long. Ethical success has to be always adopted in order to keep the customers satisfied as well as to stay on good standards.
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2. Mindtools.com, (2014). Ethical Leadership: Doing the Right Thing. [online] Available at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newLDR_58.htm [Accessed 7 Jul. 2014].
3. Policies, G. (2013). Good Business: 10 Companies With Ethical Corporate Policies. [online] Minyanville. Available at: http://www.minyanville.com/sectors/consumer/articles/Good-Business253A-Corporations-with-Great-Ethical/2/16/2013/id/48045?refresh=1 [Accessed 7 Jul. 2014].
4. Ethicalleadership.org, (2014). Ethical Leadership — Center for Ethical Leadership. [online] Available at: http://ethicalleadership.org/about-us/philosophies-definitions/ethical-leadership [Accessed 7 Jul. 2014].
5. Bright Hub, (2014). Typical Examples of Bad Business Ethics: Companies You Know. [online] Available at: http://www.brighthub.com/office/entrepreneurs/articles/115557.aspx [Accessed 7 Jul. 2014].