Ethical behaviour is a term used to refer to knowing the role that you are supposed to do as a leader and doing it in the right way. The term right have been controversial in the sense that it is relative and differs from one person to the other. Ethical leadership may be used to refer to a person who has a strong character in that they have the capacity to withstand and overcome the different temptations that come their way as they discharge their duties. The concept of ethical leadership is a broad concept that takes different dimensions and, therefore, has to be evaluated from different perspectives.
What the concept of ethical leadership entail sand what are the characteristics of an ethical leader
It is worth noting that the concept of ethical leadership is not only confined to a particular leader in the organization but to all other constituents, that is, followers as well as other stakeholders. In addition, it refers to a different context in which the leaders as well as the constituent face and the ultimate results in the end. Ethical leadership is all about what a particular person should do and what as a human being we should do as members of a given society with regard to the different roles we are expected to play in the society. It is, therefore, important for ethic and values which are an organisation declaration of the behaviours and attributes that are core and matters to an organisation and the entire staff be well communicated to the public at large (Ashman, 2011).
Ethical leaders have a duty to ensure that the vision, purpose and values of the constituent as well as those of the organisation are adequately met within the frame of what have been defined and understood as ethical ideals. It is worth noting that an ethical leader must ensure that all the interest of the employees in an organisation, as well as the interest of the external stakeholders who have interest with the functioning of the organisation are observed and upheld at all times.
Ethical leadership requires that a two ways and open form of organisation be established. By so doing, a leader is able to ensure charitable understanding of the different views of all the stakeholders to the organisation with regard to their different opinions views and ideas are observed. They should ensure that all the opinions of the various stakeholders to the organisation are observed for the organisation to move forward.
Characteristics of ethical leaders
In the turbulent world today, value and ethics can be found at different levels in the organisation especially among the managers as well as among other executives. Therefore leaders are compelled to be explicit especially with their ethic and their values and incorporate them in their daily day to day activities (Starratt, 2004).
The following characteristics of ethical leadership are based on conversation as well as observation with a big number of student as well as distinguished executives from different organisation. In addition to that, the characteristics have been obtained through literature review from a number of scholarly works as well as other popular literatures with regard to ethical leadership. The different characteristics help an individual to understand the concept of ethical leadership beyond the ordinary good character and good values since the complex is indeed a complex matter.
Embody and articulate the values and purpose of the organisation
A leader of an organisation should have a rich story about the organisation that is indeed compelling and be role models to live the spirit of the organisation’s story. It occurs that this is one of the most difficult tasks to any leader since they are on public display. Every leader should, therefore, live the story they gave to their supporters during election times since they turn out to be a criticism on the leaders once they engage in scandal and unprofessional behaviours (Ashman, 2011). It is of paramount importance for all leaders to be the role models of ethical behaviours in the society since the society expects them to do so.
Focus on organisation success
It is important for an ethical leader to come to terms with their place and the roe they play with the large network of stakeholders as well as their constituents. They should realise that it is not a matter of themselves as individual, the but something collective that is the vision, dream and goal that an organisation has and which have to be achieved. Ethical leaders are also aware that value comes as long as the people in the organisation structure are successful.
Therefore, ethical leaders are required to come up with lever and act on them. For instance, the leaders can work to improve the welfare and loyalty of the workers by giving them various incentives and fridge benefits. This way, the employees, will work towards achieving the goals and dreams of an organisation and success is achieved (Starratt, 2004).
Finding the best people for the specific job
It is a fundamental task for an ethical leader to identify a person who best fits the job and develop him or her to help them in one way or the other lead better live and thus create some value to the lives of the majority in the community that the organisation serves. In the process of finding such a person, the leader should also employ the same concept of ethical as well as character while doing the selection levels (Mendonca, 2007).The ethical leader should ensure that the person is of noble character and his or her integrity is not questionable since integrity is a vital issue especially in leadership.
Create a living conversation about value and ethics and also creating value for all stake holders.
Another important character of an ethical leader is that they should ensure conversation among the stakeholders of the business at all levels. Through the conversation, the leader is can create basic value, and issues about societal expectations and stakeholders principles are debated and discussed routinely (Millar, 2010). The live conversation introduced by the leader helps in ensuring that values and ethics are being upheld by all the stakeholders and the different parties in the organisation hold each other accountable and question whether all members are living the expectations and the values. Where leaders introduce such live conversation among the stakeholders, they make a strong commitment, and this enables them to lead others ethically.
Create a dissent mechanism
It occurs that, in many organizations, people have a tendency of obeying what appears to them as legitimate which leads to an authority trap. An ethical leader should work to avoid this and, therefore, establish a different method through which employees can push back anybody the feel that what is being done is not in order. The leader must ensure that the values of the organisation are upheld by introducing anonymous emails, telephone such that employees can have their ways around the different level of management. This art helps the leader to ensure that value and ethics are not compromised in the organisation at all levels as well as get views that are realistic about what is happening at all levels (Mendonca, 2007).
Have a charitable understanding of others values
An ethical leader must have the capacity to understand the differences in other people. He or she should seek to know what guide people in making the decision that they make. The goes a long way in the recognition that other people have some good about them and when people are on the wrong, an ethical leader should help them realise that and help them out.
Make tough calls while being imaginative
As an ethical leader it is inevitable for them to get involved in decision making, such that they reorient the strategies of the company. Ethical leaders in organisation cannot afford to avoid making decisions especially when situations appears difficult and should never make excuses. Therefore ethical leadership requires a person to make imaginative decisions to solve stalemate within the organisations
Have limits of the ethical principles and values they live
An ethical leader should understand the limits of the values and ethical principle which guide him or her in the different organisation spheres. Ethical leaders are therefore required to be adequately equipped with the reasons for the values and principle they stand for and have a sense of limit that is acute.
Frame actions with ethical terms
Ethical leaders should see their leadership task as ethical in all dimensions. As a leader, they are required to take the rights claims of other people seriously where they evaluate the effects of their decision on all the stakeholders. As an ethical leader, they are required to take responsibility for making moral judgements that are sound. In addition to that they are required to have an attitude of humility rather than righteousness.
In conclusion, at the heart of leadership is ethic and values .Therefore, the two go hand in hand. To develop ethical leadership skills it requires that a person commits himself or she to the different leadership programmes present in the society on ethics (Millar, 2010). Values and ethics in any organisation form the Conner stone for the success of the organisation. In the paper, we have evaluated the concept of ethical leadership and what it means.
In addition, the paper has analysed a wide range of characteristics that can be used to define who a good and ethical leader is and what he or she is expected to deliver. From the paper, ethical leadership has been discussed deeply, and it is evident that the ethical leadership is not only critical to the success of any organisation but it is also inevitable. It is worth noting that ethical leadership cannot be differentiated from positive follower’s attitude. Any leader who can be said to be ethical have those persons below him or her satisfied , committed and motivated due to the sharing of values among themselves.
Ashman, I. (2011). Ethical leadership. London: Henry Stewart Talks.
Millar, C., & Poole, E. (2010). Ethical leadership. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Starratt, R. J. (2004). Ethical leadership. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Mendonca, M., & Kanungo, R. N. (2007). Ethical leadership. Maidenhead: McGraw Hill/Open University Press.