Ethical Requirements in Leadership Development
Leadership is the act of leading, influencing, inspiring, and helping others to grow and achieve their goals. Leadership might be the most confusing position that one can ever hold. Imagine thinking you are making a good decision just for others to see it as bad. Leaders are mandated to make good decisions but cannot force people to perceive them the way they do. Leaders always receive feedback for the actions and decisions where some are positive while others are negative. Many leadership failures are based on neglecting values in the developmental process. Many focus on the competencies and skills required to achieve organizational goals. However, the confusion is based on the values and ethical requirements for leadership development that they apply when acting in their positions. Leadership development can be enhanced by emphasizing values and ethical requirements.
Leadership development is an initiative that is aimed at making people better leaders performs their responsibilities effectively. Values are necessary for every single step of leadership development. Values are the principles that one holds for evaluating the alternatives or consequences and defines what an individual cares about in every situation (Smikle, 2019). Values are not fixed; instead, they are flexible and change with time since people can evolve through experience and realize self-characteristics caused by that evolution. Leaders are defined by their character and values, thus essential factors in leadership development.
Value-based leaders should go beyond self-reflection and focus on the values of others. Leaders apply their values and consider the values of those whom they lead. Value-based leaders practice by listening to the ideas of others, evaluate them, and recognize the values that support those ideas. They seek to pool other people's wisdom and try to make decisions for the good of all without compromising their values. Leaders should allow other people's values to shape them regardless of their position in the organization or their place in society. Ethical leadership is based on realizing your core values and living by them always (Mohiuddin & Hossain, 2016). The key to achieving this is by enhancing transparency and openness to allow people to share their beliefs. This openness enhances group work, thus promoting wiser decisions. The value of personal and reflection of other people's values enable leaders to believe in themselves and develop confidence. Confidence grows when leaders understand their values and align their actions with them. For instance, in contemporary society’s leaders face threats and distractions, yet they are courageous to make better decisions and assist others in activating their values. Therefore, a reflection of self and other people's values is necessary for leadership development.
Some values are considered to be superior to others. However, all values are necessary for leadership. The core values for leaders include; integrity, humility, optimism, curiosity, and compassion. These principles enhance ethical leadership. Leadership development is based upon these crucial values that are necessary for every leader. These values must be explored and exposed during the entire process of development (Smikle, 2019). The surfacing of community values enables those in leadership development to examine the alignment of their value with the community.
The foundation of leadership development is the integrity of a leader. Trust is built on character and leadership upon trust. Leaders need to make good decisions, but they must also be made with integrity (Klaussen, 2020). People always look for strong leaders who can be imitated; thus, only leaders who can be trusted are followed. For a leader to maintain influence and mentor upon the followers, integrity is a demand. Integrity in leadership means leaders make decisions for the better welfare of their people rather than their selfish personal needs. For instance, some leaders take full responsibility for their staff's actions. Leaders have sacrificed themselves because of mistakes of their team who were acting legally due to integrity.
Leadership development depends on the humility of the leader. Humbled leaders place the needs of their followers before their thus enhancing the development of their organizations (Huizinga, 2016 p34). Through humility, leaders can identify their weaknesses and work on improving them to improve their performance. For instance, a leader who humbles is always ready to learn new things from other people, thus enhancing their development. Staff also perceive it as the foundation of confidence that a leader has in them to perform their duties (Hegarty & Moccia, 2018). It promotes a sense of reality whereby people allow the leader to strategize on their behalf. The humbled leader recognized their limitations and errors and worked hard to address them. Ethical leadership designs an environment where people have goals and values working towards achieving the organization's mission. Ethical leaders have the spirit to model others by revealing their values to people. This aspect is important since it determines the impact of leadership on the development of other leaders. If the leader is perceived to have moral character and integrity, their actions will have less resistance from their followers. Therefore, character promotes leadership.
As a leader, it is essential to be aware of bias. Many leaders do not want to identify their flaws, but this leads to severe consequences. Leaders lead diverse organizations and communities, thus high chances of biases. They should ensure that they recognize the biases and take care of other people's feelings. Being open-minded will help a leader maintain a better relationship with others, thus enhancing leadership development. Moreover, proper application of fairness and justice creates a better environment and transparency of people's values (Hegarty & Moccia, 2018). An example is prudent managers who suffered losses due to quick judgment making and bias.
Leaders must understand the culture. Ethical leaders usually clarify organizational culture. During such moments, they can revisit their mission and identify gaps and obstacles between the values. This aspect gets rid of any confusion in the organizations' culture and practice. Making the culture clear, other people can determine whether their values align with the organizational mission and requirements. Therefore, leadership is strengthened through such clarifications. Staffs need to see models of their expected behaviors (Hegarty & Moccia, 2018). Magnanimous leaders provide a clear picture of the character expected from the followers. In the absence of the leader, magnanimity keeps the employees focused. Moreover, leadership should be viewed as relationship-oriented, thus connecting their expression to values essential for moral practices.
In conclusion, the process of leadership development is essential when we examine their decisions on an ethical basis. It is crucial to identify one's decision-making level because leaders cannot lead people who are much beyond where they are. The goal of a leader is to make decisions based on choice and commitment. Leaders should commit to the values of their organizations and internalize them to enhance decision-making when responding to situations. Moreover, it is the responsibility of the leader to empower and motivate their followers to uphold the values of the organization.
Hegarty N and Moccia S, (2018). Components of Ethical Leadership and Their Importance in Sustaining Organizations over the Long Term Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1199&context=jvbl
Huizinga R, (2016). An Understanding of Humility-Based Leadership Impacting Organizational Climate, Emerging Leadership Journeys Available at: https://entrepreneurship.babson.edu/why-is-integrity-important-in-leadership/
Klaussen K, (2020). Why is Integrity Important in Leadership? Available at: https://entrepreneurship.babson.edu/why-is-integrity-important-in-leadership/
Mohiuddin G and Hossain M, (2016). Ethical Leadership: Its Issues and Impacts in Organization Available at: http://www.crimbbd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/eTHICALlEADERSHIP.pdf
Smikle J, (2019). Connecting Values to Leader and Leadership Development, The Journal of Values-Based Leadership. V.12. Available at: https://scholar.valpo.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1248