Leaders of organizations are held to a higher standard than others. They are expected to be upright individuals and to generally live in accordance with prevailing morals and ethics. When they break these laws, their organization can lose confidence in the person, and sometimes, the organization as a whole. The following tips can help leaders to operate ethically.
Establish a baseline
Leaders need to set boundaries that define ethical and moral limits. Reality suggests that some people find certain behaviors more acceptable than others, for example, so-called “white lies” versus fraud. A leader should clearly state and follow specific principles expected by constituents. When everyone in their organization knows their expectations, there is less likely to be missteps down the road.
An effective leader welcomes the opportunity for accountability. Accountability can come from another individual, such as a partner or supervisor, or it may come from a Board of Directors or council that helps to oversee office functions. Similarly, an ethical leader will ensure that staff members follow the same code of conduct so that the entire office operates in an ethical manner. A master’s in public administration online degree in particular provides training in these principles to equip leaders to govern others.
With the power of authority comes the temptation to misuse it. A leader who is prone to fits of temper should avoid situations where outbursts are likely. Also, as a leader of an organization, you should avoid being alone with people of the opposite sex in your company to avoid the chance of temptation or a scandal.
Request appraisals and evaluations
An upright leader seeks periodic reviews, appraisals, or evaluations of his or her job performance. Although evaluations come with certain positions, at other times an evaluation must be requested. Being reviewed by an objective outsider can help to point out things that might be done better or possible ethical breaches. Objective feedback might prevent a problem before it develops or resolve one that has started.
Learn from mistakes
Everyone makes mistakes. When a breach occurs, it’s important for the leader to accept responsibility and apologize. Most people readily accept an apology and appreciate the honesty. When a mistake is forgiven, the leader should take precautions to avoid repeating it in the future.
Being a leader is not easy. It is an important role that must be filled by someone who takes ethics seriously. Following these steps can help to keep you and your organization operating with integrity and with a sound reputation.
About Dixie Somers:
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.