6 leading with integrity
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6. Leading with Integrity. Ethical Dilemmas. Natural tendency to react quickly to resolve dilemma or pretend we did not notice. Key is to slow down the process and reflect on the ethical and moral aspects of actions and decisions.

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6. Leading with Integrity

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6 leading with integrity

6. Leading with Integrity


Ethical dilemmas

Ethical Dilemmas

  • Natural tendency to react quickly to resolve dilemma or pretend we did not notice.

  • Key is to slow down the process and reflect on the ethical and moral aspects of actions and decisions.

  • Allow yourself and others time to work through complex problems and engage in a process that includes reflection before action.

  • Including others in the resolution leads to feelings of empowerment.


Chapter overview

Chapter Overview

This chapter includes:

  • A discussion of the process of creating and sustaining ethical organizational environments

  • An analysis of the moral dimensions of transforming leadership theory

  • An examination of the ethical influences that participants have on their organizations through behavior modeling


Creating and sustaining an ethical organizational environment

Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Organizational Environment

Nash proposes four qualities that are necessary for participants to advance ethical standards in an organizational

  • Critical thinking skills to analyze and convey the ethical components of a problem or dilemma

  • Possession of a high degree of integrity to stand up for your personal and professional ethics

  • The ability to see situations from others’ perspectives

  • Personal motivation to do the right thing


Ethical decision making

Ethical Decision Making

  • Important that a leader is prepared to receive criticism, see members revolt, and perhaps experience a decline in membership.

  • Not everyone in an organization is prepared or willing to do the right thing or has a moral orientation.

  • Part of the leadership process is to fully explain to others the problem at hand and the basis for the action or decision.


Core values

Core Values

  • All participants―positional leadership and members alike―should be empowered to set the tone.

  • The organization’s mission or the group’s common purpose should be the driving force for identifying its values.

  • Appointing one person to be the group’s ethicist or when a leader acts in isolation to handle ethical dilemmas can be counterproductive.


Learning from good and bad leadership

Learning from Good and Bad Leadership

  • Two categories of bad leadership (Kellerman)

  • Bad as in ineffective

    • Ineffective leadership includes the failure of achieving a desired change.

  • Bad as in unethical

    • Fails to distinguish between right and wrong.


Toxic leaders

Toxic Leaders

Toxic leaders are those

  • “who engage in numerous destructive behaviors and who exhibit certain dysfunctional personal characteristics. To count as toxic, these behaviors and qualities of character must inflict some reasonably serious and enduring harm on their followers and their organizations.”


Examples of behaviors and traits associated with toxic leaders

Examples of Behaviors and Traits Associated with Toxic Leaders

  • Leaving followers worse off than when they found them.

  • Violating basic standards of human rights of their own supporters.

  • Consciously feeding their followers illusions that enhance the leader’s power and impair the followers’ capacity to act independently.

  • Misleading through deliberate untruths and misdiagnoses of issues and problems.

  • Insatiable ambition putting leader’s above followers’ well-being.

  • Enormous egos that blind leaders to the shortcomings of their own character.

  • Reckless disregard for the costs of their actions to others.

  • Cowardice that leads them to shrink from difficult choices.


Ethical lapses

Ethical Lapses

Individuals committed to leading with integrity are faced with their own dilemma of what to do when values clash with the organization’s standards. This offers three choices:

  • Ignore or put up with the situation.

  • Address the situation and work to change the organizational climate into one that is ethical in nature.

  • Leave the organization.


Moral purpose as an act of courage

Moral Purpose as an Act of Courage

  • Moral courage: the quality of mind and spirit that enables one to face up to ethical challenges firmly and confidently, without flinching or retreating.

  • Moral courage can be viewed as the intersection of three conceptual fields: principles, danger, and endurance.

    • Example: It took moral courage for Nelson Mandela to be imprisoned for eighteen years in his opposition to apartheid in South Africa.


Assumptions about ethical leadership

Assumptions about Ethical Leadership

  • Ethics is the heart of leadership.

  • All leadership is values-driven.

  • Personal values intersect with organizational values.

  • Ethical leadership can be learned.

  • Ethical leadership involves a connection between ethical thought and action.

  • Character development is an essential ingredient of ethical leadership.

  • Ethical leadership is a shared process.

  • Everything we do teaches.


Cultural assumptions

Cultural Assumptions

  • Ethics exist in a cultural context; they are culturally bound or culture-specific.

  • There is no universal agreement on what behaviors or practices are considered appropriate, legal, ethical, or moral across cultures.

    • Example: The intentional oppression of and discrimination against women in Saudi Arabia is considered ethical, legal, and moral in that country but is unethical, illegal, and immoral in the United States.

    • Ethics are also temporal in nature, especially in light of changing laws and legal norms.

    • Corruption is a culturally constructed behavior.


Cultural assumptions1

Cultural Assumptions

Personal competencies for establishing cross-cultural relationships.

  • Be nonjudgmental.

  • Be flexible.

  • Listen attentively/observe carefully.

  • Assume complexity.

  • Manage personal biases.

  • Show respect.

  • Show empathy.


Transforming leadership theory

Transforming Leadership Theory

  • Transforming leadership is a process in which “leaders and followers raise one another to higher levels of morality and motivation.”

  • Transforming leadership involves persuasion, a desire to change something and multidirectional influence relationships between leaders and participants.

  • Values or ideal such as peace, justice, fairness, liberty, equal opportunity, and people’s general welfare are expressed by transformational leaders.


Transformational leadership theory

Transformational Leadership Theory

  • About the relationship and influence between leaders and followers.

  • This symbiotic relationship is an interaction or power and shared values.

  • Transforming leaders have the courage to confront reality even if it is painful and have healthy egos to withstand peer pressure.

  • Possessing positive self-esteem (not needing to please others to win their favor) is a necessary element of leading with moral purpose.


Ethical decision making models

Ethical Decision-Making Models

Several approaches to resolve ethical dilemmas

  • Utilizing professional codes of conduct, rituals, standards, constitutions, and bylaws

  • Like leadership, ethics is not a neat and tidy concept. It requires human judgment and analysis to determine whether a situation represents an ethical dilemma or something else, such as a personality conflict.


Practical applications

Practical Applications

  • Four Dilemma Paradigm Model

  • Justice vs. mercy: fairness and equity conflict with compassion, empathy and love

  • Short term vs. long term: immediate needs run counter to future goals

  • Individual vs. community: self vs. others or small group vs. larger group

  • Truth vs. loyalty: honesty competes with commitment, responsibility, or promise-keeping

  • These dilemma paradigms represent values that collide with each other.


Kidder s ethical decision making model

Kidder’s Ethical Decision Making Model

  • Ends-based thinking: “Do whatever produces the greatest good for the greatest number.”

  • Rule-based thinking: Follow only the principle that you want everyone else to follow.

  • Care-based thinking: “Do to others what you would like them to do to you.”


Five ethical principles in decision making

Five Ethical Principles in Decision Making

  • Respecting autonomy

  • Doing no harm of no maleficence

  • Benefiting others or beneficence

  • Being just or justice

  • Being faithful or fidelity


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