Today, many employees grumble when their leaders discuss being ethical. During the massive economic downturn, many executives got rewarded for underperforming. For example, Fannie Mae’s CEO Michael Williams and Freed CEO Charles Haldeman Jr. were slated to receive up to $6 million each for 2009 despite the companies’ poor performance. Yet, it cost the American taxpayers more than $100 million for these company bailouts. With the continual unethical behavior of several executives, American workers are more cynical about their leaders than ever.
Ethics plays a critical role in good leadership. Ethics is defined as the code of moral principles that governs the behavior of a person or group according to what is right. Richard Draft, an organization management expert, explains that leaders at the highest management levels develop internal moral standards that can often allow them to break laws if necessary.
For many organizations, it is the proverbial “doing as I say and not as I do” for some managers. Most managers can get away with this philosophy. As businesses continue to falter and competition begins to bear down on the economy, workers are looking for leadership. However, it is virtually impossible to lead an organization if you’re unethical. Unfortunately, it only takes one bad manager to destroy the core values of an organization. Here are some ways to identify an unethical leader: This unethical leader… 1. Leads with a bad attitude
2. Lies to his followers and peers
3. Takes advantage of people
4. Takes personal credit for group accomplishments
5. Uses politics to gain power in an amoral manner
6. Does not focus on the common good of the organization
7. Does not support his followers
8. Displays a “double-tongued” behavior
9. Sacrifices his followers for personal gain
10. Fails to model the way for followers
Emerging leaders cannot afford to behave unethical. People become less trusting of organizations and people. People, especially leaders, need to act in a manner that sets the example for the rest of the organization. Therefore, it can be concluded that effective leaders must be careful to stay humble and have accountability mechanisms in place so that they won’t hit any ethical mine fields. Organizations can’t afford to wait. Can today’s unethical behavior be stopped? If so, how? If not, how can today’s organizations minimize their losses?
Dr. Daryl D. Green is a management strategist who deals with complex projects. Dr. Green is the Vice President of Marketing for AGSM Consulting, LLC. Additionally, Dr. Green is the Business Dean at Langston University in Oklahoma. He worked at Oklahoma Baptist University as the Dickinson Chair, where he distinguished himself academically, including the ACBSP Teaching Excellence Award and the Bison Sports Faculty Mentor Award.
In 2016, Dr. Green retired from the Department of Energy, where he worked for over 27 years. Before his 30th birthday, he managed over 400 projects, estimated at 100 million dollars.
Dr. Green is an award-winning speaker and author. He is the author of several books, including textbooks Impending Danger and Small Business Marketing. Dr. Green has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and the Associated Press. Dr. Green received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Southern University, an MA in Organizational Management from Tusculum College, and a doctoral degree in Strategic Leadership from Regent University.