I used to swear all the time. Then I got a job working with teenagers, and all of a sudden I had to clean up my language so that I was setting a good example, and so I could hold them accountable for their language. This moment happens to parents when their kids reach about two years old and start repeating everything they hear. A similar moment happens to employees when they become leaders: all of a sudden, your actions are setting an example for those who look up to you. Ethical behavior is important for everyone (and so, you may argue, is respectful language), but behaving ethically becomes exponentially more important when you’re in charge.
With their actions, leaders set the parameters for what is and is not allowed. The way they respond to unethical situations can have a huge impact on the company and team culture. For example, whether leaders let little things slide or address them directly, whether they hold different expectations for themselves or hold everyone to the same high standard, and whether they avoid accountability or take responsibility for their contributions to problems all affect the way their team will respond to unethical situations. Ethical responsibility increases with your position in the company.
But not only that, ethical risk also increases. Suddenly you have access to corporate cards, personnel decisions, and increased pressure to meet outcomes. Knowing the pitfalls, as well as best practices for leading ethically, can help keep your practices inline with your “preaching”, and keep your company on the straight and narrow.
Our new Grovo Microlearning® content, Ethical Leadership, by producer Jen SanMiguel will help parse out both the added ethical risks of leadership and how to handle them. This content includes topics such as:
- What is Ethical Leadership?: Learn the ethical risks associated with leadership, and what it means to lead ethically in the face of them.
- Lead an Ethical Team: Learn how to support ethical behavior on your team through your leadership.
Respond to Unethical Behavior: Learn how to prevent unethical behavior, and what to do in the event that you’re faced with unethical behavior on your team.
“With great power comes great responsibility”, and an increased focus on ethical behavior is one of those responsibilities. Get started by taking one of our lessons, What Ethical Leadership Looks Like.