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Free «Ethical Leadership Issue» Essay Sample

Great leaders understand the importance of ethical behavior. That is why they foster ethical values in their leadership actions and style. If leaders share their values in the working environment, the problem of the lack of trust will disappear. Dr. Duane C. Tway distinguishes three main components of trust: the capacity for trusting, the perception of intentions, and the perception of competence. Leaders whose ethical behavior is evident can powerfully affect the actions of their subordinates. This paper explains the necessity of ethical leadership.

Leadership inclines people to work willingly and enthusiastically to achieve the objectives. In business, leadership is turned to performance. Many people tend to compare the terms ‘management’ and ‘leadership’, but leadership is a broader notion, including communication, supervision, and inspiring. People can learn to become successful leaders by improving their leadership skills (Heathfield).

Leadership tactics relates to dynamic changes in the organization’s life cycle. Thus, one may choose to rely on certain factors according to the situation. There are eight basic tactics that a leader may exercise in any situation. They are direction, indirection, involvement, negotiation, persuasion, redirection, enlistment, repudiation.



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The direction tactics uses the directive style. In order to apply it successfully the leader must possess the necessary power, otherwise this tactic will lead to failure. The direction tactics consists in giving orders to subordinates without any discussion. The indirection tactics is practiced when the leader’s authority is limited. A leader does not order to do anything directly, but he must compel others to do what he needs. If the leader can engage others in the activities he wants, and they comply with his requirements, this means that he introduces the involvement tactics. It is known as a powerful and successful influence tactics that gives a feeling of ownership. Everybody works harder for things that are our own. Negotiation is another essential influence tactics. It can signify conferring with others or a compromise. George Washington used negotiation tactics in the Battle of Yorktown that was central in winning American independence, and it brought him victory. The persuasion tactics involves explanation and conviction that leader suggests right things. It can be provided by giving conclusive reasons and instructions. Another way of adopting persuasion tactics is to emphasize personal needs. The redirection tactics is aimed at prevention of negative effects and avoidance of collisions. An example of this tactics is a situation when a chief does not fire senior managers, but introduces new positions or duties instead. In such a way, it is shown that people are necessary for the organization and their feelings are not hurt. According to the enlistment tactic, one only has to give a reason for an action to justify its performance. The repudiation tactics is used when the leader guides the performance of an activity rejecting arguments of worker’s own abilities to do it right. Leaders may apply the reputation tactic to subordinates or even directors at the same levels by recommendations (Heathfield).

The leader can use different tactics or their combinations taking into consideration the individualities of people led and leader’s own frame of mind, major goals and the importance of time, rules, laws, or authority of the leader, and the organization’s life cycle. We suggest a purpose driven leadership approach, as purpose driven leaders can extend their leadership traits to supplement their primary leadership potential. It helps to achieve higher levels of performance, determine the key traits of a leader, and the degree of stretching that a process requires. The purpose driven leaders set "aspiration driven hopes” that neutralize negative emotions and inspire positive energy. Purpose driven leaders execute 5 main traits, such as Commitment, Confidence, Caliber, Context and Call-to-Action. Once company leaders have put and clearly identified what they stand for, it is up to every employee to build a bridge between their own values and the business purpose. It means that organizational and individual purposes must be aligned (Brusman).

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The characteristics of a great leader include vision, wisdom, passion, compassion, charisma, good communication, persistence, integrity, courage, and discipline. There is a saying that great leaders are not born, they are made. Every leader has to remember the following things, if he wants to become an "effective executive":

  1. Set a moral example. The subordinates will take the cue from their leader. If his habits are excellent, theirs are likely to be the same.
  2. Give people a set of objectives and a sense of direction. As a rule, people do not like to work aimlessly from day to day; they want to know not only what they are doing, but also why.
  3. Keep people informed of new developments at the company and the way they will affect them.
  4. Ask people for advice and encourage individual thinking.
  5. Let people know that their leader supports them. There is no greater moral killer than a boss who neglects subordinates’ ambitions.
  6. Do not give orders. Suggest, direct, and request.
  7. Emphasize skills, not rules. Give a person a job to do and let him do it. Judge results, not methods. Let an employee improve his own job methods.
  8. Give credit where credit is due. Recognition for a job well done is the most appreciated of "fringe benefits".
  9. Praise in public and criticize in private. A critic must be constructive. Concentrate on correction, not blame. Allow a person to retain his dignity. Suggest specific steps to prevent recurrence of the mistake. Forgive and encourage desired results.
  10. Make it known that new ideas are welcomed. No idea is too small for hearing or too wild for consideration. Follow through subordinate’s ideas.

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In general, leaders have certain traits such as judgment, liveliness, and sociability that differentiate them from non-leaders, but those traits vary in different situations. A truly successful leader has the ability to use a leadership style most appropriate to the situation and the employee involved.

Habits show how our brains are open for deep thinking. Great leaders always improve their skills and inspire people around them to become better. Leaders concentrate on people's strengths, treating them with respect and appreciation. They are ambitious, self-motivated and well-spoken (Sompong).

Knowing what a leader thinks may provide an insight in regard to the ways he acts. Most of the successful leaders have a capacity to hold in their heads two contrasting ideas at the same time. They are able to set alternatives and create reasonable tension between their ideas by generating a new one. It can contain elements of the others but is superior to both. Leaders have integrative thinking, which is a distinctive characteristic of successful business. In recent years, the management conservation has changed from thinking toward doing, but many years ago F. Scott Fitzgerald noticed that "the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind at the same time still retain the ability to function" (Roger). It is not an innate ability - it is something one can gain.

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Nevertheless, we all can be leaders, and we all must be leaders in carrying on business. There are three competencies of a leader: leading the organization; leading others; leading oneself.

The leadership function moves the organization toward the objectives. Leading influences the members of the organization to accomplish the organization's objectives. Effective leadership is a highly prized ability in organizations; however, some managers have difficulty in developing it. Successful leadership requires an individual to be task-oriented and able to communicate, understand, and motivate people. Through planning, organizing and controlling, managers exercise leadership, but leading oneself is the biggest responsibility of a leader and it should be placed above leading the organization and subordinates

A true leader knows that he must work on improving himself rather than try to improve others. Leaders influence others by directing, guiding, assisting, and motivating. They can even change others by maintaining the morale and monitoring the performance of the team. In order to improve it leaders should act as change agents (Roger).

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Among the top business leaders, who have made an impact on the modern marketplace, are Jamie Dimon, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Ray Kroc, Henry Ford, Donald Tramp and others. Some of them are CEOs; others are the founders of the companies, but all of them are in the list of the richest and the most powerful and successful men in the world. Religious leaders have influenced, inspired and even changed the thoughts and values of their age. Jesus, Buddha, Mahatma Gandi, Kong Hee were spiritual leaders who led millions of people by their beliefs. Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Junior, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington can be named among famous political leaders with significant influence on whole nations. Their work was dedicated to fighting for the civil rights of citizens. We can also mention well-known sport leaders Vince Lombardi, John Wooden, Alex Ferguson, and Phil Jackson. These coaches brought their teams to championship, due to the successful management.

There is no such thing as leadership traits that are effective in all situations, nor are there leadership styles that always work best. Leadership depends on followership, and followership depends on the traits and circumstances of the follower. We recommend leaders to be able to define the goals and rules of their followers, be flexible, sensitive to the needs of others, decisive according to the situation and to be good communicators. The key characteristics of a successful leader must include, first of all, being a person that others choose to follow. A good leader makes his personnel feel appreciated and respected, provides stimulation and opportunities for employees to develop, both personally and professionally. That is why further development in ethical leadership is vital for business.


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