A simple process to ethical leadership

I define ethical leadership as having the skills to execute ethical decisions in ways that inspire others to become ethical leaders.

If you are new at ethical leadership, here’s a practical approach to get you going:

  • On a sheet of paper, create a table with 4 columns.
  • In the first column, write a list of initiatives you are working on. Write each initiatives in a separate row. Take a week or so to do that. Just write the initiatives as you work on them.
  • In the second column, write one (or more) ethical dilemma associated with each initiative. The dilemmas may not be immediately obvious. Take your time. Just revisit the list every day.
  • In the third column, write the decisions you made to resolve the dilemmas. Don’t hesitate to ask for help. Involving the right people lead to better decisions.
  • In the fourth column, write how you will execute each decision in a way that will make you visible and vocal about the importance you place on ethics and compliance.
  • Keep doing this until it becomes second nature.

The second column develops your ethical awareness.

The third column develops your ethical decision-making.

The fourth column develops your ethical leadership.

There you have it. A simple process to ethical leadership. Give it a go and, if it works for you, share it with others.

4 thoughts on “A simple process to ethical leadership

  1. Yan – I like the approach of being methodical about ethical leadership and decision making. Committing these issues to writing is a meaningful step toward holding oneself (and others) accountable.


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