Ethical Leadership in the Master of Science Leadership Program

779 Words4 Pages
Leaders make critical decisions between right, wrong, and the lesser of two evils every day. These decisions can affect the person making the decision, their employees, and goals of the organization. There are many readings that describe ethics and leadership, but ethical leadership is basically knowing your inner values and having the courage to steadfastly live by them for the purpose of the common good. Southwestern College's Master of Science in Leadership program has given me a firm understanding of how important ethical reasoning is and how it impacts, good and bad, an organization.
My first artifact, LEAD505 Leadership and Ethics Assignment explains that there's a strong relationship between good leadership and ethics. Since many organizational leadership decisions are inherently difficult to make, it is impossible to have effective leaders without an ethical underpinning. As noted by Ciulla (2004) there's been examples in which corporate leadership has had a number of ethical short-comings in recent years, ranging from Enron to WorldCom. My opportunity to learn the lessons of these ethical failures has allowed me to witness how devastating of an affect they have on an organization. Although I will always try to lean on my core values to guide me to the best possible decision, I know that there will be times I will be forced to choose between two unfavorable choices.
In the course of my duties I'm certain I will be forced to choose between alternatives that are both unfavorable in some way, which is referred to as an ethical dilemma (Ferrerll et al., 2008). When this occurs, I know I must first identify what the ethical dilemma actually is before I can proceed to a sound decision. Once I've firmly interpreted wh...

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...results at all costs, they may be at a higher risk for questionable ethical decision making. The primary differences in ethical leadership between various leaders can be contributed to the inner values of the respective leader and them having the courage to live by them for the purpose of the common good. Also, there may be times when no clear-cut right answer is present; which is why ethical values are critical for leaders to have. Finally, when inappropriate ethical values are not upheld by leaders, it can spread to their employees and ultimately result in devastating outcomes like Enron and WorldCom failures.

Works Cited

Ciulla, Joanne B. (2004). Ethics, The Heart of Leadership. Westport , CT: Praeger Publishers
Ferrell, O, Fraedrich, J., Ferrell, L. (2004). Business Ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Houghton Mifflin Company.
Boston, MA.
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