This Course is part of a Career Path: Become a CISO
Module 1: Ethical Decision Making: Wrong vs. Right, Right vs. Right
Module 2: Handling Ethical Dilemmas
Module 3: Case Studies in Ethical Leadership: Debates with Terence Jackson on Ransomware
Module 4: Case Studies in Ethical Leadership: Debates with Ken Underhill
Ethical leaders realize every decision they make affects others. When acting with ethical leadership, leaders can focus on what’s right, not just who is right. But deciding on what’s right depends on context, the company’s culture, and other factors.
When in a leadership position, how you make decisions sets the tone of your company or group. If your decisions are made with good ethics and morals in mind, employees will feel more motivated and content in their job.
Usually, 50 percent of people will agree with you and 50 percent will disagree with the decisions you make. While it may feel natural to please everyone, this is a pitfall of leadership. When you lead with your ethics in mind, everyone will at least respect your decision and you can feel good about your choices.
However, executing ethical leadership decisions is more challenging than it may seem. Not every decision is clearcut, as it depends on the context, the culture, and many other factors, so you’ll want a framework to make smart, ethical decisions to help your company succeed.
What is ethical leadership in business?
Ethical leadership is when people make decisions with an organization’s beliefs, values, and the dignity of others in mind. When someone leads with ethical leadership, they’re promoting trustworthiness in themselves and the organization. When decisions are made with ethical leadership in mind, it makes it easier for employees to accept those decisions and follow the leaders’ vision.
Ethical leadership can also be seen as being socially responsible. This means in product production, treatment of employees and customers, and packaging and delivery, leadership considers what is right for society, not just what’s right for the business. When companies act socially responsible and promote good corporate citizenship, it motivates employees to believe in the company’s mission, perform at a higher standard and think more innovatively.
How does ethical leadership work?
To understand ethical leadership requires understanding ethical behavior. Ethical behavior is when someone acts with good principles, such as honesty, fairness, equality, dignity, and diversity in mind.
A manager uses ethical leadership to champion ethical standards and issues in the workplace. When a manager implements ethical leadership successfully, he or she understands that his or her decisions affect other people. This ranges from deciding when it’s time to promote someone, deciding who is lead on a project, to cutting back on expenses; all these choices affect the team as a whole.
To be an effective leader, managers must communicate with each member of their team, but also foster an environment for open conversation. By creating an open environment, employees can ask questions or raise concerns, without being fearful of not articulating their point perfectly or saying the wrong thing.
Can ethical decision making and leadership be taught?
The saying “leaders are made, not born” is famous for a reason. Leadership and ethical decision can be taught. Students, current managers, and aspiring managers can become strong leaders by mimicking the behavior and example of other strong leaders.
Leadership involves a set of skills, such as communication, negotiation, and compromise. While learning those skills, students will also need to evaluate what’s right in a situation, not just who is right. This is ethical leadership.
Some might say ethics can’t be taught, but they can be modeled. By taking an online class about ethical leadership, you can learn more about how other successful leaders have dealt with challenging situations, and then model that behavior when your own challenging predicament arises.
Why ethical leadership is important in the workplace?
Ethical leadership is essential in the workplace because the actions of leaders and managers trickle down to the rest of the staff. If employees don’t trust and understand the decisions of their leaders, they won’t believe in the company’s mission and they won’t treat their co-workers with respect.
By implementing ethical leadership it fosters a work environment that helps inspire employees to come forward and report unethical behavior without fear of reprisal or punishment.
Leaders are often faced with ethical dilemmas, such as firing someone for a mistake that was unintentional, but still costly to the company. As a leader, you’ll have to evaluate how to set an example, teach a lesson, but also not kill morale of others on the team.
What should managers do to provide ethical leadership?
The first step for managers to provide ethical leadership is understanding it. Leaders can take an online course through Cybrary and learn best practices at their own pace. While executives may feel too busy with every day responsibilities to devote time to learning ethical leadership, it’s too important not to. Practicing ethical leadership will improve your team’s morale and ultimately the bottom line. By taking a course through Cybrary, leaders can take modules from anywhere, at home or the office, and in the timeframe that works for them.
Once managers have taken a course in ethical leadership, leaders will feel more empowered to make decisions with ethics in mind. Then, they can create an environment that’s more open for employees to communicate and make decisions with the team’s best interest in mind.
Certificate of Completion
Complete this entire course to earn a Ethical Leadership Certificate of Completion
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