My impression of an ethical leader refers to a person who has a high value in moral, action with ethics, a transparent sincerity in leadership and a comprehensive philosophy on non-violence. Mr. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, who won independence for India from the British empire without firing a bullet in the 20th century, shows us a great ethical leader (Easwaran, 2011). He fills up with positive thoughts with love, compassion, respect, integrity, positive emotion, and humility. These are the critical values of an ethical leader. The reflection from Gandhi’s story, one can define the Ethical Leadership relates to the respect of ethic of matters including honesty, the right and dignity of others, justice and fairness as well as the philosophy of non-violence that leads to destiny fills with love, compassion, respect and positive action. That makes a great leader (Yukl, 2013).
The effect of ethical leadership is truly reflecting not just on the individual, team but also an essential aspect in any business organisation. Such results include the values of inspiring individual to work in a positive work environment that leads to improved productivity and improve overall morale that one can get along with one another. It articulates a set of ethical rules in creating a positive work culture. It lives up to the company’s values rather than politics and personality. Such ethics of authenticity responsible provides the practice of moral leadership (Starratt, 2004).
The element of business always goes with performance, mentoring, and compensation. Ethical leadership plays a vital role in an organisation that cultivates a healthy and well-being company. It articulates mutual respect that leads to a positive mindset of individual and team. It motivates individual to work, engage and contribute to meeting the organisation goals ultimately. It reflects me when I read Amazonian narratives about Amazon’s leadership principle. As young as 21 years old, Amazon turns out to be the largest e-commerce company globally (Amazon, 2021). Making it top of the world ranking is very much because of its ethical leadership that drives work engagement and employee’s creativity. Its affective commitment mediates both aspects. It creates two way of communication that reinforces the commitment of employees toward the objectives. The C.E.O. of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, claims as a visionary marketer and an ethical leader who practices what he preaches base on Amazon’s leadership principles. The employees judge the leader behaviour toward them.
One of the principles says: Big things start small. The giant oak starts from an acorn. It reflects that anyone wants to grow the tree. It takes time. It fosters a good passion and ferocity that embeds in the Amazonians. Jeff’s practices on new idea creativity through an unconventional approach let their employees prepare five-page narratives about the ideas and distribute them to the team members before the presentation (Stone, 2021). Its unique approach is to let the person think through their ideas instead of glossing over theories that flatten out any sense of relative importance and ignore the interconnectedness of ideas. It readdresses how effective the leadership that fosters employee creativity as it becomes a vital organisation’s goals.
Another good reflection derives from an ethical leader who demonstrates supportive behaviour. It leads to drive into a healthy environment through proper feedback, trustworthiness and care, and showing its social, emotional resources. Many people lost their job and family during the spike of the pandemic in the U.S. Such social issue has trigger how a company with ethical leadership to support them. The learning from Amazon’s support and philanthropy activities and its ethical leadership has again entrusted how a company performs and responds. It is not just taking care of their employee, the partners, but also the whole community. The reflection of this approach is genuinely demonstrating a company with ethical leadership will be remembered by the community.
My Reflection: The ethical leader cases described above are essential for whether a big or small organisation and individually. It is not just ethics and morale counts. The practice requires to be honest, trustworthy, respect among key stakeholder groups. An ethical leader helps to endorse the genuine concept of ethics, including how it helps make the right moral decision. Ethics needs are essential for building a sustainable business model for any business scenario: a good reputation and loyalty derived from the trust that makes strong brand values that everyone knows it (Witzel, 2019). Contrary, ethical leaders don’t create bad public relations for a company.
Amazon. 2021. Facts. [online] Available at: <https://www.aboutamazon.com/about-us/leadership-principles> [Accessed 1 April 2021].
Easwaran, E., 2011. Gandhi, the man. 4th Edn. Strawberry Hills, N.S.W.: Nilgiri Press.
Starratt, R., 2004. Ethical leadership. 1st ed. San Francisco, Calif.: Jossey-Bass.
Stone, B., 2021. Amazon Unbound: Jeff Bezos and the Invention of a Global Empire. 1st ed. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Witzel, M., 2019. The Ethical Leader – Why doing the right thing can be the key to competitive advantage. 1st ed. London: Bloomsbury Business. Yukl, G., 2013. Leadership in Organization. 8th ed. New York: Pearson