Ethics is an essential aspect of good governance. Ethics has the potential to affect trust in all forms of government. Ethics majorly deals with the type of values or morals a society or individual considers appropriate. Respect for ethical values motivates ethical leadership. The conduct of leaders should be geared towards the common good.
Several studies have indicated that ethical leadership is more than complying with rules. In promoting an excellent ethical culture, the conduct of leaders is critical. Leaders need to have the urge to intervene informally in order to steer behavior in their jurisdictions and resolve emerging challenges. Leaders should not rely on formal regulatory mechanisms alone. Ethical leadership is characterized by a number of elements as highlighted below.
Leading by example. A good leader should be an example to his or her subjects. The leader’s actions speak volume since it is a key parameter for judging performance. A quality leader should demonstrate honesty and unselfish behavior. Serve as a model of ethics by communicating what you expect.
A leader who respects others and observes integrity with time earns the respect of peers and subordinates. A leader who follows ethics attracts the following.
Promoting ethical conduct. Good leaders have the mandate of championing the importance of observing ethics. When ethical issues arise, leaders should strive to teach the importance of ethics. Peers and subordinates need to know how ethical issues impact society.
Honesty. Without a doubt, honesty is a crucial element of ethical leadership. Honest leaders are trusted and dependable. Leaders across the board have an opportunity to place the highest premium on truthfulness. Ethical leaders need to convey information in a transparent manner.
Integrity. Integrity entails adherence to moral principles. Integrity at the same time captures the essence of ethical values. It is, therefore, a vital aspect of ethical leadership. When leaders observe integrity, they attract trust from subordinates and peers. Leaders with high integrity values attract confidence from followers. Issuing gifts such as printed pens, phones, etc, should be done openly.
Communication. Leaders need to be good communicators in all situations. Ethical leaders should be comfortable speaking in public about any situation. In their message, ethical leaders should reach out to each member of the team. Additionally, there should be room for open conversation. In any society, people have different opinions, and good leaders have the mandate of ensuring that these opinions are conveyed.
Values awareness. Ethical leaders need to have a conversation about their high values and expectations. These are values they place on themselves and subordinates. Such discussions promote a consistent understanding across any society.
Competency. On the part of leading by an example, leaders should be viewed as experts in their field. It is a fundamental aspect of any good leader. A leader who depicts incompetence attracts lack of trust from subordinates.
By observing elements of ethical leadership, leaders can promote a positive environment in any given setting. There is no doubt that ethical leadership can have a positive impact.
Collaboration. Ethical leadership promotes unity leading to the collaboration of the team. Basically, morale is high when people are getting along with each other. It supports a healthy working environment. There is the building of relationships due to teamwork. Overall the performance will be high.
Individual well-being. As highlighted, the good leader needs to lead by example. Leaders have the obligations of ensuring that the working environment promotes positivity. Observing, honesty and proper communication will create a positive attitude among individual subordinates.
Healthy society. Respect and valuing opinions of other people promote a healthy environment. When communities of people work together in an environment of mutual respect, there is overall growth. It is the mandate of a leader to promote such an environment by observing elements of ethical leadership.
In conclusion, for leaders to have meaningful influence, they need to observe ethics in their work. Ethical leadership is critical in building leaders credibility. As a leader, one must establish a culture of ethics within their area of jurisdiction. Keeping this culture alive is important. At the same time, encouraging subordinates to follow their lead. The society should, therefore, take full responsibility for ensuring that ethical leaders drive leadership practices. Leaders embracing the moral person perspective value integrity and are trustworthy, caring, honest and fair. Trust in leaders is build through the existence of ethically based systems.