Ethics plays a huge role in the leadership process. This is because leadership involves influence and the ability to take charge and get things done. This places an ethical responsibility on leaders in regards to how they affect other people. Leaders need to engage their followers in order to accomplish common goals; therefore, it is important that they treat their followers and their ideas with respect and dignity.
Leaders also play a major role in establishing the ethical climate in their organisation; that role requires leaders to be particularly sensitive to the values and ideals that they promote. It is the duty of leaders to treat others with respect and to listen to them closely and be tolerant of opposing points of views. Ethical leaders place fairness at the centre of their decision making, including the challenging task of being fair to the individual while simultaneously being fair to the common interests of the community. In this article we’ll look at some of the characteristics of ethical leadership.
- RESPECT FOR OTHERS
One of the most important aspects of ethical leadership is respect for others. An ethical leader respects all members of the team by listening to them attentively, valuing their contributions and being compassionate. An ethical leader considers opposing viewpoints and works to find ways to consolidate these oppositions.
It is safe to say that anyone who is ethical will also be honest. Honesty is an important trait to have in order to be an ethical leader. This is because a leader who is honest is also considered trustworthy and dependable. Ethical leaders are transparent and convey facts and information no matter how unpopular they may be.
- FOCUS ON TEAM BUILDING
Ethical leaders promote a harmonious community and team spirit in the workplace. Ethical leaders strive common goals rather than personal ones through the promotion of a team effort. They make goals that aim to benefit the organisation as a whole. This can be done through team building exercises, team projects etc.
- LEAD BY EXAMPLE
An ethical leader leads by example and is not just about talking the talk, but also walks the walk. The ethical leader sets high standards and expectations for their employees and the same also applies to them. In order for employees to perform well at their jobs they must have a leader who they can look up to.
- ZERO TOLERANCE FOR ETHICAL VIOLATIONS
An ethical leader expects their employees to do the right thing at all times, not just when it is convenient for them. It would be counterproductive and against company regulations for an ethical leader to overlook or tolerate ethical violations. Ethical leaders promote standard practices in the workplace and work to provide a conducive work environment for their employees.
- VALUES INITIATIVE
Ethical leadership provides an opportunity for employees to grow and flourish. This is because ethical leaders value employee input and encourage their employees to be creative and innovative. Under ethical leadership employees are rewarded for coming up with ways to improve or benefit the organisation rather than waiting for someone else to do it.