Ethical leadership is leadership that is involved in leading in a manner that respects the rights and dignity of others. As leaders are by nature in a position of social power, ethical leadership focuses on how leaders use their social power in the decisions they make, actions they engage in and ways they influence others. Leaders who are ethical demonstrate a level of integrity that is important for stimulating a sense of leader trustworthiness, which is important for followers to accept the vision of the leader.
Leaders who are ethical are people-oriented, and also aware of how their decisions impact others, and use their social power to serve the greater good instead of self-serving interests. Motivating followers to put the needs or interests of the group ahead of their own is another quality of ethical leaders. Motivating involves engaging others in an intellectual and emotional commitment between leaders and followers that makes both parties equally responsible in the pursuit of a common goal. Ethical leadership falls within the nexus of inspiring, stimulating, and visionary leader behaviours that make up transformational and charismatic leadership. Ethical leaders assist followers in gaining a sense of personal competence that allows them to be self-sufficient by encouraging and empowering them.
What is Ethical Leadership?
One typical response to the “ethics crisis” in business is a clarion call for more “ethical leadership,” yet there are few explanations of what exactly is meant by the term. Many executives and business thinkers believe that ethical leadership is simply a matter of leaders having good character. By having “the right values” or being a person of “strong character,” the ethical leader can set the example for others and withstand any temptations that may occur along the way. Without denying the importance of good character and the right values, the reality of ethical leadership is far more