Leadership is an essential element at all levels more especially in organizations. Leadership entails directing other elements, through influence, to get things done. On the other hand, leadership style entails the manner and approach taken by leaders in providing direction, implementing plans, and motivating people. There are various leadership styles, each with its benefits and drawbacks depending on how they are applied. Leadership models help understand what makes leaders behave in a certain manner and why they become successful in some situations and not in others. Every situation requires a different approach or strategy to be applied (Dugan, 2006). This piece of work looks at the concept of leadership with respect to the ethical leadership model.
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Ethical leadership entails a leader having good character and the right values. This allows the leader to set a good example for others and withstand any form of temptation which may occur in the course of fulfilling any work-related practice. However, the reality of ethical leadership is relatively complex, and the stakes involved are high.
An ethical leader should possess the following characteristic: Should articulate and embody the purpose and values of the institution, be focused on organizational success as opposed to personal ego, identify the capabilities in people and look for ways to develop them and create value for all stakeholders, and establish an environment that allows for appropriate conversation about ethics and value. An ethical leader should also be able to establish various dissent mechanisms and have a charitable understanding of other peoples’ values. One should also make tough calls and be creative and frame actions in an ethical manner (Sternberg, 2007).
As a principal in a school, I have a responsibility to ensure that everything in the institution is carried out accordingly. This necessitates that I ethically exercise leadership. As a leader, I have to be a role model to all people in the institution, particularly the teachers and students. In the course of carrying out my responsibilities, I would want the teachers and students to see me as a figure that makes things done in a positive and ethical way. I would cultivate in them a spirit of carrying out things in a manner that is appropriate, as a way of fulfilling responsibility but not as a result of force.
Ethical decision making is a crucial element in any leader. In any decision made, one should consider all the parties involved and the impact the decision made would have on each of them. All the aspects surrounding a situation should be evaluated critically to ensure that the best decision is made. The decision should consider the interests of the majority. Personal ego should not influence decision making. Leaders must make decisions that are not only beneficial to them but also for the good of other people (Judge and Piccolo, 2004).
Various people view responsibility differently. As a leader, I ought to ensure that peoples’ attitudes towards responsibilities are positive. For instance, all the parties involved should carry out their duties in a way that helps in the achievement of the institution’s vision and mission. In all the activities involved, critical thinking and innovation should always be fostered. Problem-solving and decision-making should also be encouraged among the individuals.
Every person, especially the leaders, should also ensure that a learning community or environment is maintained at all times. This will ensure that the students learn to be responsible not only for themselves but also for one another. Leadership style is a crucial element. It influences many people in their day-to-day life. If leaders carry their responsibilities in an ethical manner, the people who are led tend to appreciate them and live a responsible life, and mind others in all they do. The vice versa is true. As a leader, I would make my values and ethics known. This would be through my leadership style and actions.
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A leader should actively involve all the stakeholders in the organization. As a leader, I will ensure that the views of all stakeholders are taken into account in decision making as well as in carrying out the organization’s activities. For this reason, I would employ the participative or democratic leadership style. This style entails providing room for other team members to contribute to an organization’s processes, especially decision making.
Although I would be required to make the final decision, I would engage others as much as possible. The participative leadership style is very effective in enhancing job satisfaction and developing people’s skills through proper representation and involvement. Teamwork is good, and although participation takes time, it eventually gives good results. All stakeholders, irrespective of their position in the learning institution, should be allowed to participate. This will ensure that they work effectively as they feel well represented in the organization and hence the desire to work hard for better individual and organizational performance (Judge, Bono, Ilies and Gerhardt, 2002).
Leaders are involved with some tasks and duties. Enforcement of policies is a critical role that ought to be taken carefully by all the leaders involved. As the principal, I will be expected to foresee the enforcement of various policies related to the school’s activities and practices. Some of the policies would include those that govern examinations, discipline, and teaching and learning practice. In the process of enforcing these policies, I would ensure that ethical principles are adhered to. This will allow that the interests of all the stakeholders, including the teachers, parents, and students, are considered. This is a positive step that will allow the smooth running of the learning institution as everyone feels appreciated and well represented (Dull, 2009).
Leadership teams and support groups are vital in contributing to the overall success of an organization. They are tools that facilitate the management of an organization through coming up with ideas and how they ought to be implemented to meet the goal and objectives of the organization. This, therefore, stipulates that they should be handled effectively. I would like to be a leader who embraces participative or democratic leadership. I would utilize a functional leadership model.
This is a model that perceive leadership as a set of behavior that assists a group in carrying out its duties and reach its goals. As per this model, leadership functions meet needs in three separate areas, namely on the individual, a task, and a team. Any member can contribute significantly to an organization and thus can participate in leadership. Much emphasis should be placed on the manner an organization is led rather than the people engaged in leadership (Michelle, Craig, and Jeffrey, 2006).
Dugan, J.P. (2006). Explorations Using the Social Change Model: Leadership Development among College Men and Women. Journal of College Student Development, Vol. 47(2), pp. 217-225.
Dull, M. (2009). Results-Model Reform Leadership: Questions of Credible Commitment. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory (2009) 19 (2): 255-284.
Judge, T. A., Bono, J. E., Ilies, R. and Gerhardt, M. W. (2002). Personality and leadership: A qualitative and quantitative review. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 87(4), 765-780.
Judge, T. A and Piccolo, R. F. (2004). Transformational and Transactional Leadership: A Meta-Analytic Test of Their Relative Validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, Vol 89(5), 755-768.
Michelle C. B., Craig L. P. and Jeffrey C. K. (2006). The Importance Of Self- And Shared Leadership In Team Based Knowledge Work: A Meso-Level Model of Leadership Dynamics, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 21(4) pp.296 – 318.
Sternberg, R.J. (2007). A Systems Model of Leadership: WICS. American Psychologist, Vol. 62(1), 34-42.