To lead ethically, you must set an example for others, encourage open communication, eliminate bias, take accountability for your actions and be prepared to accept blame and confess wrongdoing. In your business, ethical leadership makes the workplace a better place to work, improves the brand’s image and recognition, makes customers and employees more loyal and increases productivity.
This article is for managers and company owners interested in learning more about ethical leadership, its advantages and how to use it in their organizations. There is a noticeable distinction between being a manager and being a leader. They focus primarily on ethical leadership.
What exactly is moral leadership? Ethical leadership is the practice of doing the right thing inside and outside the workplace.
Ethical leaders exhibit positive principles in both their words and deeds. Being an ethical leader is fundamentally about acting with integrity and doing what is right. How can you lead with integrity? Despite being idealistic, ethical leadership is more feasible than you may imagine.
Here are some tips on how to lead ethically:
1. By writing down your principles, you show that you are honest and encourage your staff to do the same. This gives everyone a sense of purpose. According to Matthew Kelly, CEO of Floyd Consulting and author of The Culture Solution, “This is the biggest difficulty ethics faces in our culture and at work and is the biggest challenge ethical leadership faces” (Blue Sparrow Books, 2019). “Leaders with strong moral principles have a very tough time in this relativistic climate. Kelly told business owners that if they want to succeed “with ethical leadership,” they should show how sticking to certain principles helps the organization achieve its goal.
2. Employ individuals who share your values. Although you don’t have to share your employees’ beliefs exactly, you should be able to find areas of agreement with them. This frequently begins with the employment procedure and is upheld by a vision statement. Instead of merely recruiting for expertise, businesses need to do better to ensure the candidates they choose are aligned with their values.
3. Encourage open communication. Be open and clear about every choice you make, and invite input from your staff. Getting feedback from your employees helps you grow as a leader and moves your company forward.
4. Be wary of prejudice. No leader wants to admit they have made mistakes, but not doing so can lead to bad things.
5. Set a good example. From the top down, you must create an ethical business.
6. Without hesitation, admit your flaws. Don’t be afraid to take full responsibility for your staff’s mistakes and bad behavior.
7. Integrate corporate social responsibility into your company’s business plan. As an ethical leader, you should instead support CSR projects that align with your firm’s mission, vision and goals and ensure they are included in your business strategy and workplace culture.
8. Read books. These experts in the area can teach you the ideas of applied ethics, so you have a better understanding of the values you should uphold in the workplace and why, much like learning from role models.
9. Take care of yourself so that you may care for others. You cannot pour from an empty cup. Leaders are more likely to be good at their jobs and care about other people if they take care of themselves and keep filling their “cups.” Matzen says, “Taking care of yourself might seem easy, but it’s important if you want to keep your leadership skills.”
Being an ethical leader requires implementing all of the advice mentioned above. Here are a few methods for exhibiting moral leadership: Remember that deeds speak louder than words. Practice effective communication. Be honest in all of your commercial relationships. Any firm can benefit from the management approach known as “ethical leadership.”
When team members know they are following a moral leader, morale and productivity increase. Leaders who uphold moral principles can motivate their teams to excel. Staff will regard themselves as essential components of the company’s operations and culture rather than feeling like they are aiding a crooked individual in making more money.
Ethical companies have better brand perceptions. When executives behave ethically, they give the greatest possible impression of the company. They make decisions that benefit employees and consumers, establishing a reputation as a business guided by morals and a sense of justice. Both within and outside of the workplace, they gain respect.
Moral leaders don’t damage their organization’s reputation. They avoid circumstances that harm the company’s brand and drive consumers to switch to competitors because they uphold the established ideals and lead by example.
Organizations that employ moral leaders are more likely to retain their staff members and clients. Staff members and customers will want to continue doing business with the company as these executives aim to be fair and equal. They will not be inclined to search elsewhere if they can count on consistent, thoughtful service.
Ethical leaders provide greater emotional stability. Stress at work might reduce productivity. When a leader is ineffective, efficiency suffers. When moral leaders show that they care about mental health and social responsibility, they motivate employees to keep up healthy habits that will help them do better at work and at home and keep them from getting burned out.
The author is an MBA student at the Ramon V. del Rosario College of Business, DLSU. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The views expressed above are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official position of DLSU, its faculty, and its administrators.