Ethical Leadership in Organizations

3615 words 15 pages
Ethical Leadership in Organisations

Ethical leadership is leadership that is involved in leading in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of others. As leaders are by nature in a position of social power, ethical leadership focuses on how leaders use their social power in the decisions they make, actions they engage in and ways they influence others. Leaders who are ethical demonstrate a level of integrity that is important for stimulating a sense of leader trustworthiness, which is important for followers to accept the vision of the leader.

Leaders who are ethical are people-oriented, and also aware of how their decisions impact others, and use their social power to serve the greater good instead of self-serving interests.
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2. Focus on organizational success rather than on personal ego.

Ethical leaders understand their place within the larger network of constituents and stakeholders. It is not about the leader as an individual, it is about something bigger—the goals and dreams of the organization. Ethical leaders also recognize that value is in the success of people in the organization.

In 1998, in a bold gesture demonstrating how he valued the company’s line employees, Roger Enrico, former Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, chose to forego all but $1 of his salary, requesting that PepsiCo, in turn, contribute $1 million to a scholarship fund for employees’ children.

In a similar manner, the founders of JetBlue began a process of matching, from their salaries, employee donations to a charity. Today, their entire salaries go to the JetBlue Crewmember Catastrophic Plan charity, to assist staff with crises not covered by insurance. The point of these examples is not that ethical leaders donate their salaries to charities, but rather that ethical leaders identify and act on levers, such as employee loyalty, that drive organizational success.

3. Find the best people and develop them.

This task is fairly standard in different models of leadership. Ethical leaders pay special attention to finding and developing the

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