I can’t tell you the number of articles I’ve read and studies that are now out, that state, in any number of ways, how crucial ethical leadership is in the business world.
So what are organizations/companies doing about their leaders’ ethics education and promoting it in their organizations? For example, when people are promoted to leadership positions, is there a customized leadership ethics education program for them? If ethical leadership is so important, shouldn’t there be a customized ethics program on every level of management and leadership?
Saying how important this is and actually acting on it are two very different things. What would the process of thinking ethically look like? In addition to a customized program, should it include ethics coaching, or ethics consulting to provide ongoing insights and ethics education What should true ethical leadership reflect?
1. How do your leaders handle legal/ethical dilemmas?
2. How is their character is recognized, modeled and admired and how would you know?
3. Do they treat every employee with respect and dignity, thereby setting the tone for an ethical culture?
4. Is ethical behavior part of a leader’s performance review?
We need to remember that morale always filters down, never filters up!
For those of you whose organizations who take this approach, kudos to you! What I’m really concerned about are the organizations who say that ethical leadership is important and do nothing substantive about it.