The Power of Ethical Leadership

Author: Evangelin Buelah
Last Updated: Mar 21, 2023 02:22
Views  3

Ethical lapses by leaders in businesses and various industries, both public and private, have made headlines in recent years. The extent of the damage caused by scandals is plain to see. But what is less often discussed is the role that ethical leadership could have played in preventing them.

It is important now, more than ever, that ethical leadership is cultivated and implemented. We are surrounded by stories of greed and misconduct, where mistrust in institutions is at an all-time high, and & we understand why ethical leadership is important. It further translates to creating a work environment where ethical values are promoted and where employees feel supported in upholding them.

Ethical Leadership is a set of behaviours that adheres to specific principles and values like honesty, integrity, fairness, trust, transparency, and respect, which are considered by the majority as a strong foundation for the common good.

Ethical leadership is an essential part of successful management. It requires more than just adherence to core values; it involves developing a strong moral compass and making decisions with integrity. To lead ethically, you must set an example for others to follow, foster open communication, avoid bias, accept responsibility for your actions, and be willing to accept criticism and admit mistakes.

Being an ethical leader shows that the organization values its employees and customers, by nurturing positive relationships internally and externally. Ethical leaders are trustworthy and have the respect of their employees. They also set the tone for ethical behaviour in their organizations and create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up. It also consists of respecting ethical views and values, responding accordingly and thoughtfully both inside and outside of the workplace culture, and being motivated by respect for the value and dignity of others.

Ethical leadership can lead to increased productivity, improved employee engagement and retention, and ultimately, enhanced business performance. But how can leaders ensure that they are being ethical?  Here are some characteristics that can be worked on:

Six Characteristics of an Ethical Leader

There are six elements and guidelines that ethical leaders abide by that are highlighted in various research on ethical leadership. They are- honesty, honour, justice, integrity, responsibility, and transparency. The importance of these values in any leader is quite self-explanatory.

1. Honesty
We all look up to leaders who are honest, someone who does not withhold the truth for his/her benefit.


2. Fairness
We celebrate leaders who uphold moral principles, treat everyone fairly and forbid manipulation and deliberate unfairness.

3. Honor
Whatever their position, ethical leaders value others around them. They exhibit an understanding of other people's perspectives and are effective listeners.


4. Integrity
Ethical leaders are trustworthy individuals whose words and deeds are in harmony. They do not just talk generally; they also take steps to endorse what they say.

5. Responsibility
Responsible, proactive, and maintaining an internal power structure, ethical leaders act within their means to create the change they desire.


6. Transparency
 Leaders that uphold ethics engage in open communication, welcome criticism, and transparently share information with all parties involved.

It is in the absence of ethical leadership that a team becomes dysfunctional. Dysfunctionality in a team often seeps down from dysfunctional leadership. Issues like the absence of trust, conflict, lack of commitment, avoidance of accountability and inattention to details are all signs of dysfunctional leadership, which are best combated by the above-mentioned components of ethical leadership.

Where there is an absence of trust, honesty and transparency will pave the way for open communication. Where there is fear of conflict, the belief in the leader’s honour and fair judgment will encourage people to be open about their differences.  Where there is a lack of commitment and accountability, the sense of responsibility and integrity that is felt by the leader will reinforce the team to reflect the same behaviours.

Thus, in any organization, ethical leadership promotes a good work environment, enhances name recognition and reputation, encourages employee loyalty, and improves performance.

That is the power of ethical leadership.

At Job Booster India, the staff are encouraged to develop leadership styles that prioritize values and learnings, to stimulate character growth and think beyond business gains. Driven by our personal values and morals, individually we each add something unique to our work culture. And as iron sharpens iron, we keep each other disciplined and principled, in constantly working to better ourselves in every which way possible.

Would you like to know more about how to develop an open and nurturing culture in your organization? Get in touch!

Relevant Blogs