Essay Sample on Proper Leadership Ethics

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1889 Words
Date:  2022-12-06


Leaders in the modern world must seek to earn trust and commitment of organizational members if they have to lead their organizations successfully in the ever-competitive global market. Human beings must exist in harmony and have a common understanding if they have to work together effectively. They also need to portray ethical behavior in their day to day dealings. Ethics may be termed as doing what is morally acceptable. To behave ethically means to behave consistently with what a huge section of the society considers right or moral.

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Additionally, it is the practice of a behavior that is considered appropriate by a large section of the members of the society. In industries too, ethical behavior is very necessary as it is the source of success and progress in the industry. My philosophy of life is to build trust and a good reputation in everything that I do.

In my studies of leadership, I have come across different characters, traits and behaviors that determine either the success or failure of a leader. It is possible for two people to hold similar positions in industry and one become more successful than the other. Although the difference in performance could be as a result of the leadership style being used, the greatest determinant of success or failure of a leader is his or ethical philosophy of leadership.

Trustworthiness Increases Following

There exists a close connection between trustworthiness and leadership. While leadership involves managing a group of people to achieve a certain goal or mission, trustworthiness involves being honest and reliable in one's dealings (Ciulla, Uhl-Bien, & Werhane, 2013). Thus, for a leader to be able to lead others to accomplish a certain mission, he or she must be trustworthy. People will be more willing to follow a person who is trustworthy than a person who is not. Besides, investors and customers will want to be associated with an industry or organization whose sector is led by trustworthiness. Followers follow a lead when they are aware of the consequences. "When you're attempting to decide what's right or wrong, consequentialist theories focus attention on the results or consequences of the decision or action" (Trevino & Nelson, 2015, p. 40).

I have realized that the more you build a culture of trustworthiness, the more respect you get from people. Just like a perfect marriage is built on the pedestals of trust, so it is a good leader. A leader commands many facets of an organization such as the employees, the investors, the customers and also the board of management (Zhu, Zheng, Riggio, & Zhang, 2015). Since these are very many factions which are very critical in the development of an industry, a leader must, at all times, seek to build trust being honest and reliable.

Emotional Support from Others

Trustworthiness begets emotional support from others. Trevino and Nelson (2015) state that just like deontologists "rely on moral rules that have their roots in Western biblical tradition," (p. 43) so do the leaders have to be guided by their moral roots. As the adage goes, no man is an island; thus, no man can stand alone. Leaders do not exist as islands in an organization but as guides towards achieving the goals of the organization. To achieve this, a leader must be promised of emotional support of the other people in the same industry. Thus, leaders need emotional support more than anybody else (Connelley, & Tripodi, 2012). However, this emotional support does not just come anyhow. It must be cultivated and inculcated in the minds of others using the proper means. Strong relationships between the leader and the other stakeholders are built on respect coupled with the belief in the other person. Thus, where there is trustworthiness, other things such as respect and honesty are born.

Being a trustworthy leader does not mean that one will automatically get the approval of others. There are still those who will feel dissatisfied and seem rebellious. However, this is normal in life, and a leader cannot make all people happy however good he or she might be. The reason for this is that there are times as a leader than one has to take hard positions for the sake of the industry (Thornton, 2009). This may offend some people, but if it is meant for the greater good, then it is worth it.

Additionally, being a trustworthy leader means that the leader has to speak honestly even in difficult situations. Although this may seem a hard task, the leader has no choice but to do it, especially if the benefits outweigh the difficulties. Thus, a trustworthy leader enjoys emotional support from others and can run the industry very well.

Commitment to Team Goals

A trustworthy leader can manipulate the human resource within an organization to achieve team goals. Team goals are achieved on a culture of commitment. When members of an organization are committed, they can work together to achieve team goals. A leader begins by identifying and setting the goals that they need to achieve for the organization to prosper. A proper system of setting the goals allows the stakeholders to determine the most important thing at the end. "A stakeholder is any person or group with a stake in the issue at hand" (Trevino & Nelson, 2015, p. 40). The setting of these team goals motivates the members to work hardest to achieve them since they consider them as part of them.

About forming a committed team to achieve the organizational goals comes the aspect of strengthened relationships. Just like the word suggests, a team is a group of members in an organization committed to achieving a common goal. This means that all the energy and skills are put together so that the members can achieve the goal that they intend to. When leaders have the support of others, they are a step closer to fulfilling their mission. Some of the most successful leaders attribute the success to teamwork within the organization brought about by building strong relationships. That is why the aspect of building a team that is committed is an indispensable characteristic of a successful leader.

Sharpens Awareness and Ethical Behavior

As an organizational leader, I have realized that successful leaders are usually aware of themselves. Leaders are usually engaged in very tight schedules which may limit their ability to assess themselves. Unlike in the past where leaders did not need to do a lot of self-analysis because the market was not very competitive. Today's leaders must conduct a thorough self-analysis so that they can determine their strengths and weaknesses. Trevino and Nelson (2015) argue that "anger and other emotions can influence thoughts and actions" (p. 97). With such kind of awareness, the leader will be motivated to perform well since he or she will work knowing his strengths and weaknesses and addressing them as required. Through being trustworthy, a leader can become more self-aware through emotional, cognitive and behavioral skill. Besides, the leader can view himself or herself and others and make meaning of situations without being biased (Price, 2012). Also, when a leader becomes trustworthy, it deepens his or her sense of self and brings his or her best to the team; thus, motivating the others to do so.

A trustworthy leader instills ethical behavior in his employees. "it is important that the individual intends to be a good person and exerts effort to develop him or herself as a moral agent, to associate with others who do the same, and to contribute to creating an organizational context that supports ethical behavior (Trevino, & Nelson, 2015, p. 46). Self-awareness goes hand in hand with broadening of the mind. A good leader should be truth-seeker. There is nothing useless that is built on the premise of truth. The pursuit of truth emanates from a clear understanding of the people as well as the context that influences them. Additionally, a sincere search for the truth expands a person's understanding of what is real and what is not. This helps in knowing the position of the organization about the environment.

Trustworthiness Improves Well-Being

A leader must always strive to be the person he or she is at all times. He or she does not have to strive to become a person that he is not as this may eat him or her up. It takes a lot of energy for a leader to be someone that he is not and to maintain a facade as well as connect make believe dots (Skarlicki, Steiner, & Gilliland, 2011). Such an act may drain a person's energy and well-being. Thus, if a leader wants to maintain his or her credibility to the others, he or she must be predictable. People should be able to associate with him or her determinedly. Trustworthy leaders are brave enough to maintain their behavior and character even in times of turmoil or extreme excitement (Ciulla, 2013). When a leader stands strong in who he is, it helps him or her to build permissible relationships with others. It is also beneficial to the leader as he or she tackles those tasks that are directly linked to his or her strength and skills. Such a leader is also able "to ignore risk, and design risk analysis into your decision-making processes." (Trevino & Nelson, 2015, p. 90)

Some leaders assume to know everything and will try their hand in almost every aspect of the organization. The result is that many of them fail terribly and this distorts their image as people that employees should look up to. They also lose credibility and trust. Thus, a leader needs to be sincere and human enough to give others a chance to do what they are best in.


By and large, successful leadership is a skill that is dependent on many aspects of a person. In organizations, leaders must strive to maintain a culture of trustworthiness is it is passed down to the other employees. My leadership philosophy is maintaining a culture of trustworthiness in everything that I do. The reason I value trustworthiness in leadership is that it enhances self-awareness, improves well-being, supports commitment to goals and emotional support from others. This way, the leader will not feel like an island in an organization but a member of the larger group of employees. With a culture of trustworthiness, an organization is bound to prosper exponentially.


Ciulla, J. B. (2013). Leadership ethics: 2. London: SAGE.

Ciulla, J. B., Uhl-Bien, M., & Werhane, P. H. (2013). Leadership ethics. London: SAGE

Connelley, C. J., & Tripodi, P. (2012). Aspects of leadership: Ethics, law, and spirituality.

Price, T. L. (2012). Leadership ethics: An introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Skarlicki, D., Steiner, D., & Gilliland, S. (2011). Emerging Perspectives on Organizational Justice and Ethics. Charlotte, N.C.: Information Age Publishing. Retrieved from HYPERLINK ""

Thornton, L. F. (2009). Leadership Ethics Training: Why Is It So Hard to Get It Right? T+D, 63(9), 58-61. Retrieved from

Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2015). Managing Business Ethics. New York: Wiley.

Zhu, W., Zheng, X., Riggio, R. E., & Zhang, X. (2015). A Critical Review of Theories and Measures of Ethics-Related Leadership. New Directions for Student Leadership, 2015(146), 81-96.

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