Definition: Ethical leadership is to know your core values and having the courage to live them in all parts of your life in service of the common good.
Below are some reflections questions to ask on your personal journey toward ethical leadership:
• Will you be the same person at work? At home? In the community?
• Will you have the courage to live out your values when there is pressure to compromise or rationalize?
• How do your values contribute to the common good?
The Model of Ethical Leadership
The Model of Ethical Leadership is a framework that aligns the internal (beliefs and values) with the external (behaviors and actions) for the purpose of advancing the common good. The model was created by an ethical CEO based on his formal leadership research and personal passions around faith and ethics.
At the Community of Ethical Leadership we have found that people who want to become leaders who make a difference need to embrace an inner journey of integrity and make an outer commitment to the common good. Our leadership development approach begins with this inner journey. Individuals discover and claim their core values, develop a vision for how the world could be different, find their personal voice for expressing their vision.
They then move to an outer commitment of living and behaving in ways that serve the community and advance the common good. They ask, “Leadership for what purpose?” The ultimate purpose of leadership is to shape a future that is visionary.
Inclusive, and enables all members of society to fulfill their needs, dreams and potentials.
• Values. Ethical leadership begins with an understanding of and commitment to our individual core values. By first discovering the values at the core of our identities, we begin the process of integrating our unique values with our choice-making on all levels of our personal and civic lives.
• Vision. Vision is the ability to frame our actions – particularly in service to others – within a real picture of what ought to be.
• Voice. Claiming our voice is the process of articulating our vision to others in an authentic and convincing way that animates and motivates them to action.
• Virtue. Understanding that we become what we practice, we foster virtue by practicing virtuous behavior – striving to do what is right and good. In this way, we develop the character of virtue. In particular, virtue stands for the common good. Ethical leaders ask, “How are my values, vision and voice in keeping with the common good?”
Three additional elements that is a key to the development of ethical leadership.
Service. Service connects Vision to Values, indicating that when our values are tested and tried through service to others, the latent vision within them is often revealed.
Polis. “Polis” is the Greek word for city, and the root of the English word, “politics.” As we learn to give voice to our vision in the context of a public act, we are engaged in the art of politics.
Renewal. As Voice returns to Values, the territory of our work changes to renewal. As we express our voice in multiple ways, we need to break from the action on a regular basis to consider if our actions are congruent with our values and vision.
True guiding principles
Any of our associates will tell you that Energy Saver’s company values are not something we simply post in the break room.
Our values are regularly emphasized by corporate leadership, beginning with the new hire orientation and extending into meetings where potential projects and decisions are weighed against the values to help determine a course of action.
Creativity: Yesterday’s way is not good enough for tomorrow. Find new ways.
Humility: Know your limits, then build a team that complements your abilities.
Integrity: Only make a commitment you can stand behind.
Personal Growth: Challenge yourself to be better every day than you were yesterday.
Propriety: Do the right thing for the right reason.
Sharing and Caring: Ask for help when you need it, and give help freely.
Strong Work Ethic: Break a sweat every day. It’s good for the soul.
Team: Your best effort becomes more when you work with good people.
Win/Win: A win/lose deal will not stand the test of time.