Habits of strong ethical leaders
It is essential that every leader has a strong personal character so that they can stand up in any situation, in any condition for what they believe in. Leaders who are bestowed with strong ethical traits boast of both complete knowledge and courage to take matters into hand and decide the best way for the long run. Strong ethical leaders must remain loyal to their principles and if required must also be prepared to leave the organization in situations where the corporate governance system displays its flaws in an uncontrollable manner and jump on the right track (Ciulla 2014). Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon displays characteristics of being a strong leader with a vision.
Holistic View of the Firm’s Ethical Culture
Ethical leaders have the capacity to see their organisation in a holistic manner, making them believe in ethics as being a strategic component crucial in decision making situations, similar to information systems, marketing, production and others. It is essential for ethical leaders to have the passion of doing the right thing. Without that there would be the possibility of straying away from good ethical conduct. Knowledge and experience are both crucial for ethical leaders in making the right decision. PepsiCo’s Indra Nooyi continues remaining committed to the concept of ethical organizational culture through her work.
Proactiveness refers to the sharing of values and forming effective and helpful programs that has the capacity of providing employees with proper guidance and support so that they can be more adept at taking ethical decisions. It is the trait of ethical leaders to not keep waiting for ethical issues to arise. They indulge in anticipation, planning and acting proactively so that they can avoid any potential ethical crises if it comes up (Bello 2012). Bill Clinton is a good example of this form of behaviour. He proactively advocated and fought for ethical and moral causes, persuading millions of others to follow the lead.
Consider stakeholders’ interests
Ethical leaders predominantly address the interests of and insinuations for all stakeholders, not only of those who specifically have any economic influence on the organization. It comes under the responsibility of the ethical leaders to steady the interests of the stakeholders for ensuring that the organization can maximise its role as being a responsible corporate citizen. It is vital that all ethical leaders stick to their basic principles while taking the right decisions, and even leave the organization if such situation or need arises. It is because of the different types of stakeholders and the subsequent diversity and conflicts in objectives (Eisenbeiss 2012). Kenneth Chenault from American Express makes sure he reaches out to all the stakeholders personally and respond to them.
Role models for the organization’s values
The decisions taken by the ethical leaders within an organization is a representation of the organization they are into, and it also sets an example for the employees for the organization. If the values that make up an ethical leader are cast away then it sends out an indication that those values are irrelevant and unimportant. As per the responsibilities of the leader, if they do not fulfil their role of being a model for the organizations core values actively, then those same values turn into nothing but just mere words (Schaubroeck et al. 2012). Jostein Solheim, CEO of Ben & Jerry’s is one leaders who has stuck to his organization’s values while leading his employees.
Bello, S.M., 2012. Impact of ethical leadership on employee job performance. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 3(11).
Ciulla, J.B. ed., 2014. Ethics, the heart of leadership. ABC-CLIO.
Eisenbeiss, S.A., 2012. Re-thinking ethical leadership: An interdisciplinary integrative approach. The Leadership Quarterly, 23(5), pp.791-808.
Schaubroeck, J.M., Hannah, S.T., Avolio, B.J., Kozlowski, S.W., Lord, R.G., Treviño, L.K., Dimotakis, N. and Peng, A.C., 2012. Embedding ethical leadership within and across organization levels. Academy of Management Journal, 55(5), pp.1053-1078.