The modern executive leader has to make choices as a critical component of his or her leadership. What, as a leaders, should one value? Standards, values, morals, customs, and cultures all weigh heavily in the mind of the modern leader. The frame of the workplace must be considered. What are the policies, procedures, and organizational model of the company driving it along its course? Consider the following Top Five Executive Initiatives below as the foundation to moral, just, and ethical leadership.
1. Commit to a single standard of conduct
“What will a national gain through economic progress if it loses its soul” (Nair, 1997). Executives must commit to a single standard of conduct and ensure their practices reflect principled behavior. Too many people, as individuals, and business have been led to believe it is necessary to sacrifice morality for expediency. This is especially true in the global business world. This creates a double standard with lower expectations and lower standards of personal conduct and professional conduct for social activists, business professionals, and politicians (Nair, 1997). It seems difficult to create a universal standard of conduct for all. Leadership must lead in setting the example. Employees learn how to behave by watching their leaders and mimicking what they see irrespective if right or wrong. The leadership sets the standard and the tone of ethical conduct.
Corporate ethics is quickly becoming one of the most discussed topics in business; especially when dealing with cross-cultural international business in today’s global economy. While many companies recognize the ethical dilemmas presented through globalized business, they are struggling to develop c...
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...ve people to action (Northouse, 2010). Leaders show initiative in ways that can either endear them to followers, resulting in effectiveness. The alternative is leaders who are disliked and ineffective. Using the initiatives above is critical to becoming an effective ethical leader.
Ciulla, J. B. (2003). The ethics of leadership. South Melbourne, Australia: Thomson/Wadsworth.
Donaldson, T., & Dunfee, T. W. (July 01, 1999). When Ethics Travel: The Promise and Peril of Global Business Ethics. California Management Review, 41, 4, 45-63.
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2007). The Leadership Challenge. 4th ed. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Nair, K. (1994). A higher standard of leadership: Lessons from the life of Gandhi. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Northouse, P.G. (2010). Leadership: Theory and Practice. 5th ed. Thousand Oaks, CA. Sage Publications.
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