The many stories of unethical leadership provide great motivation for any leader to pursue leadership ethics while leading a group of people. Certain steps can be taken to instill leadership ethics into your group, as discussed below.
Determining Your Values
The first step in leading a team with integrity is to firmly establish ethical guidelines and then set the example yourself as the leader. If you want to instill integrity and honesty in your team, you must clearly define your values, such as having personal accountability, respecting everyone in the team’s hierarchy, and keeping one’s word. If you lead the way, your team members will follow.
Establishing a Tone
Once you decide on the behavioral standards that are important to your team and define core values, you can create an environment that fosters those standards and values. The main action you can take as a leader is to closely follow those standards and values yourself. You must also decide what the consequences will be for any team member who does not follow those values. Keep in mind, though, that you should also establish a system of rewards for those team members who do consistently follow your core values.
When trying to maintain an ethical environment for your team, you will inevitably encounter problems. You should be aware of certain situations that might trigger unethical behavior, such as determining bonuses, hiring or firing an individual, making purchases. If you recognize that these situations could possibly occur, you can be aware of them and determine how you might handle a situation if it does occur. This will prevent you from making spur of the moment decisions in regards to leadership ethics.
Dealing with Indecision
Maintaining leadership ethics can often be difficult, and you will not always be one hundred per cent sure of your decision. Always to a moment to re-evaluate any decisions that you make before you act on those decisions. This will aid you in ensuring your decisions are rational and not based on emotion. Do not underestimate your own instincts and gut feelings, as they will often guide you in the right direction in regards to leadership ethics.
Embracing Leadership Ethics
Instilling leadership ethics can be challenging. You will need strong convictions and courage, as doing the right thing is not always a popular stand. The payoff is that your team members will take the core values and ethics as seriously as you do, creating an environment that encourages all of your members to perform ethically in all situations.