Ethical leadership is leadership that is directed by respect for ethical beliefs and values and for the dignity and rights of others.:22 It is thus related to concepts such as trust, honesty, consideration, charisma and fairness.
Leaders know what they value. They also recognize the importance of ethical behavior. The best leaders exhibit both their values and their ethics in their leadership style and actions. Your leadership ethics and values should be visible because you live them in your actions every single day. A lack of trust is a problem in many workplaces. If leaders never identified their values in these workplaces, the mistrust is understandable. People don't know what they can expect. If leaders have identified and shared their values, living the values daily - visibly will create trust. To say one sentiment and to do another will damage trust - possibly forever.
Dr. Duane C. Tway calls trust a construct because it is constructed of these three components: “the capacity for trusting, the perception of competence, and the perception of intentions.” Workplace ethics take the same route. If the organization's leadership has a code of conduct and ethical expectations, they become an organization joke if the leaders fail to live up to their published code. Leaders that exhibit ethical behavior powerfully influence the actions of others.
Ethics is concerned with the kinds of values and morals an individual or a society finds desirable or appropriate. Furthermore, ethics is concerned with the virtuousness of individuals and their motives. A leader's choices are also influenced by their moral development.
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