This week our discussion has been focused on what it takes to develop effective leadership skills. In the book, Business Ethics (2013), Ferrell, et al., revealed that when well-publicized scandals occur the public typically responds with outrage about the deception and fraud exposed and subsequently demand improved ethics with greater responsibility from the institutions they trust (Ferrell, Ferrell, & Fraedrich, 2013). In other words, a great leader who reveals ethical behavior, can influence the public’s attitude towards achieving positive outcomes and in doing so, will avoid destroying their trust. It seems like a simple enough formula for most folks to follow. If it is as simple as that, then why do so many world leaders seem to have problems making ethical choices, like the CEO at Volkswagen who just stepped down because of the scandal over their products cheating on pollution emission test results?
Ethical decisions make up a part of our everyday life. It’s just part of the decision-making process that affects all levels of work management as well as the choices we make in our personal lives. Ethics is not just about isolated personal issues, it also affects policies and informal communication. Additionally, a person’s ethics is responsible for outlining their conduct which is embedded in the fabric of every action that person takes. It affects how they view themselves, behave towards their family and friends, as well as how they operate and respond within their organization and community. In other words, ethical behavior (or the lack of it) has a very profound affect in everyone’s domain.
In the e-book, Ethics and the Real World (2013) my research work revealed that a person’s emotional intelligence, or their ability to distinguish and administer information from the stimuli that shapes their perceptions and emotional cues, plays a key role in the development of ethical perceptions. In other words, a person’s cognitive ability or beliefs and perceptions about any given situation, influences the way they judge, react, and respond to their environment (Berry, 2013). It also plays a significant role in how they choose to experience their life based on the perceptions they develop which help shape their views on acceptable behavior as well as what they construe as misconduct.
The most influential leaders, however, are those that carry with them a unique kind of energy; one that has the power to inspire others to take action and make positive changes in themselves. It is a kind of energy that can shine a light on misconduct to illuminate the dark crevices where deceptive practices tend to occur. It is this kind of energy that radiates a spark in others that inspires better choices. This results from the infectious way they touch the emotions of others bringing a sincere warmth in the meaning behind the messages they transmit. It is these kinds of charismatic individuals that come into the world to offer humanity hope in our ability to unite and work together to find solutions that will ultimately help restore balance and harmony.
In his book, 365 Science of Mind (2007), Ernest Holmes reminds us that individuals capable of aligning themselves with the energy of goodness and right action are those that display an admirable level of moral compass and ethics (Holmes, 2007). In conclusion, our research efforts uncovered that a person’s ethical views plays a key role in their ability to transform others to affect positive changes. This was one of the key components that helped leaders like Nelson Mandella, Pope Francis, Mother Theresa and Nobel Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, to name a few, emerge as a formidable force to reckon with in the global community. Each of them, effective leaders who relied on the power of their ethical views to transform the negative energy of the hardships they experienced, to achieve positive outcomes, which in turn has inspired millions to do the same in the process.
Well that’s it for this week. Until next time … keep working on those leadership skills!
Ethics is nothing else than reverence for life. – Albert Schweitzer
For more information on Media Magic, our digital publications, or to purchase any of our accelerated learning Business Life titles, please visit:
Baack, D. (2012). Management Communication. San Diego, CA, USA: Bridgepoint Education.
Berry, M. A. (2013). Ethics in the Real World. USA: Kindle Direct Publishing.
Ferrell, L., Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2013). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.
Holmes, E. (2007). 365 Science of Mind. (K. Juline, Ed.) New York, NY: Penguin.