Week 3 Leadership Ethics

Week 3 Leadership Ethics

Leadership Ethics

Let’s start by identifying what leadership ethics is. According to Oedekoven et al. (2018), “ethical leadership begins with identifying your own personal values and morals” (p. 149). Think back to your childhood and the values taught at school, at home, or through religious beliefs. How did they impact how you treated others? Do you still hold the same values from childhood as adults? Some common values taught to children include to “treat others how you want to be treated, always say ’thank you,’ show support to those struggling, etc.” (Caramela, 2018, 4). As we grow and branch away from our childhood roots, there is sometimes a shift in values (Caramela, 2018). As illustrated in our text this week, keeping the 3Rs in mind can help point you and your employees in the right direction. The 3Rs consist of Respect, Responsibility, and Results. As you progress in your graduate program, think about your own leadership style and how you will be an ethical leader. According to Brown & Trevino in 2006 (as cited in Ethical Systems, 2018), there is “some evidence that having had an ethical role model can contribute to being perceived by one’s followers as an ethical leader” (para. 7). Role models and coaches can have a great impact on influencing one’s style of leadership. This can also impact the style of ethical leadership and the values you incorporate into your leadership style. Forbes Coaches Council (2018) organized a list of 11 ways one can be a more ethical leader. They are as follows:

  1. Perform simple tests
  2. Focus on your daily decisions
  3. Let your impact be your guide
  4. Try the sleep test
  5. Define impact in your own lens
  6. Build in safeguards
  7. Express your morals
  8. Be transparent and aware
  9. Remember why you started
  10. Do the right thing.
  11. Remember your character

Apple CEO Tim Cook on Ethical LeadershipLinks to an external site.

Leadership Ethics Continued

Northouse (2022) also had a unique way of defining ethics: “The word ethics has its roots in the Greek word ethos, which translates to customs, conduct or character. Ethics is concerned with the kinds of values and morals an individual or a society finds desirable or appropriate” (p. 336). This is very similar to what we read in Leadership Essentials: Practical and Proven Approaches in Leadership and Supervision, in addition to points made by the Forbes Coaches Council, as illustrated above. One element in which Northouse (2019) did expand a bit more on leadership ethics is the five principles, which are:

  1. Ethical Leaders Respect Others
  2. Ethical Leaders Serve Others
  3. Ethical Leaders Are Just
  4. Ethical Leaders are Honest
  5. Ethical Leaders Build Community

When you think about these five principles, they are common ways that people want to be treated. People want to be respected and have honest communication. The idea of a leader serving others goes back to week one, when we discussed servant leadership. Building a community is more than just building an organization; it is building a community of people who hold the same morals and values. How important do you feel for companies to incorporate ethical standards and values into their mission statement? As we make our way through this week’s activity, observe places you may shop, visit, or notice how leaders interact with employees. Are you able to identify the leader’s ethical values? Does the company promote its ethical vision in writing where all stakeholders can view it?

Howard Schultz: Ethical & Strategic LeadershipLinks to an external site.

Culture and Leadership

What is culture? According to Northouse (2022), “culture is defined as the learned beliefs, values, rules, norms, symbols, and traditions that are common to a group of people” (p. 434). Another definition is “culture is our way of life. It includes our values, beliefs, customs, languages, and traditions. Culture is reflected in our history, in our heritage, and in how we express ideas and creativity” (Government of New Brunswick, 2018, 1). Culture can exist in our communities, families, organizations, schools, etc. Why is culture important? Why does it matter? “Our culture measures our quality of life, our vitality, and the health of our society. Through our culture, we develop a sense of belonging, personal and cognitive growth, and the ability to empathize and relate to each other. Direct benefits of a strong and vibrant culture include health and wellness, self-esteem, skills development, social capital, and economic return” (Government of New Brunswick, 2018, 2). Think about how culture impacts you at work. Does your company have traditions that are embedded into the culture of the organization? What about in your community? Do you find there are shared values or beliefs among your neighbors? Northouse takes this a step further in looking at research that ties leadership with culture and identifies nine cultural dimensions. These are as follows:

  1. Uncertainty Avoidance
  2. Power Distance
  3. Institutional Collectivism
  4. In-Group Collectivism
  5. Gender Egalitarianism
  6. Assertiveness
  7. Future Orientation
  8. Performance Orientation
  9. Humane Orientation

(2019, pp. 437-440)

Below is a video that explores what culture is and the impact of leadership within culture.

What is Culture?Links to an external site.

The following is an article and a video on culture and leadership:

A Spoon Full of Sugar: Increasing Patient SatisfactionLinks to an external site.
Emerging Leadership with a Culture of TrustLinks to an external site.