Ethical Leadership

When we think of leadership, we often think first of famous individuals. We may think of great political leaders: Washington, Churchill, Roosevelt. We may think of the leaders of social movements: Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Caesar Chavez. In fact, leadership is many different things to different people in different circumstances. Obviously, leadership is not always or automatically good in and of itself. We are quickly reminded of the notion that power corrupts and that absolute power corrupts absolutely. When we look at leadership in communities we see many leaders who may never become famous but whose leadership is essential to the life of the community. We begin to see leaders all around us. But would they be good leaders with positive intentions and ethical views? Would they be ethical leaders? The rapidly changing face of the world of politics here and internationally has offered up some rather interesting organizational phenomena that have served to challenge traditional views on everything from the practice of management to the conduct of production processes.

One of the best ethical leaders in modern American politics is Elizabeth Dole she perfectly fits to definition of strong leader but also very ethical leader. But what defines a leader and most importantly what defines an ethical leader? Management studies describe leadership as “ability to influence individuals or groups toward the achievement of goals. Leadership, as a process, shapes the goals of a group or organization, motivates behavior toward the achievement of those goals, and helps define group or organizational culture.” It is primarily a process of influence. Leadership is a dynamic or changing process in the sense that, while influence is always present, the persons exercising that influence may change. Possession of influence depends upon the situation and upon the relevancy of the individual’s skills and abilities to the situation. Although many politics are able to influence followers to work toward the achievement of organizational goals, the conferring of formal authority on politic does not necessarily make that individual a leader. Yes, that individual has authority, but whether or not they are able to influence their subordinates may depend on more that just that authority.

Not all leaders are managers, and similarly, not all managers are leaders. Within a team environment, manager and leader are simply roles taken on by members of the team. Most teams require politic as a leader to “manage” — coordinate, schedule, liaise, contact, organize, procure — their affairs. The functions of this role may well be quite different from those of the leader. Politician roles need not presuppose any ability to influence but to lead people in most ethical way. An ethical leader, on the other hand, must have the ability to influence other team members. An ethical leader must, by definition, have followers. To understand leadership, we must explore the relationship leaders have with their followers. One view of leadership sees it as a transactional process whereby leaders respond to subordinates’ basic lower level and security needs. Ethical leadership can be defined as- Non coercive relationship which means to be a leader with multidirectional goals. Ethical leaders move away from elitist perspective and more to more exclusionary and empowering roles. Ethical leaders intend to real positive changes Ethical leaders develop mutual purposes. Similar to the exchange theory discussed previously, ethical leaders and subordinates may be viewed as bargaining agents whose relative power regulates an exchange process as benefits are issued and received. Thus, a follower may follow a leader so long as that leader is perceived to be in a position to “deliver” some important needs. The great example of the ethical leader is Elizabeth Dole. Through her whole career she proclaimed positive and ethical aims and embodied all above mentioned characteristic of ethical leader. …