Ethnic Diversity and Leadership Discussion




Leadership Diversity Specialist (Job D) Discusses the challenges and opportunities of leaders in an organization as it relates to one of the following:Week 3: Ethnic differences



Chapter 5 Values, Ethics, and Character Introduction In Chapter 4 we examined many facets of power and its use in leadership. Leaders can use power for good or ill, and a leader’s personal values and ethical code may be among the most important determinants of how that leader exercises the various sources of power available. That this aspect of leadership needs closer scrutiny seems evident enough in the face of the past decade’s wave of scandals involving political, business, and even religious leaders who collectively rocked trust in both our leaders and our institutions. Even in purely economic terms, in 2010 the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners estimated that businesses around the world lose $2.9 billion every year to fraudulent activity.1 Further, in the 2016 presidential election one party’s nominee consistently referred to his opponent as “Crooked Hillary” while his own character and ethics were themselves questioned throughout the election—and continue to be. In the face of this distressing situation, it is not surprising that scholarly and popular literature have turned greater attention to the question of ethical leadership.2 Leadership and “Doing the Right Things” In Chapter 1 we referred to a distinction between leaders and managers that says leaders do the right things whereas managers do things right. But what are the “right things”? Are they the morally right things? The ethically right things? The right things for the company to be successful? And who says what the right things are? Leaders face dilemmas that require choices between competing sets of values and priorities, and the best leaders recognize and face them with a commitment to doing what is right, not just what is expedient. Of course the phrase doing what is right sounds deceptively simple. Sometimes it takes great moral courage to do what is right, even when the right action seems clear. At other times, though, leaders face complex challenges that lack simple black-and-white answers. Whichever the 143 144 Part Two Focus on the Leader Leadership cannot just go along to get along. . . . Leadership must meet the moral challenge of the day. Jesse Jackson, American civil rights activist case, leaders set a moral example to others that becomes the model for an entire group or organization, for good or bad. Leaders who themselves do not honor truth do not inspire it in others. Leaders concerned mostly with their own advancement do not inspire selflessness in others. Leaders should internalize a strong set of ethics—principles of right conduct or a system of moral values. Both Gardner and Burns have stressed the centrality and importance of the moral dimension of leadership.3,4 Gardner said leaders ultimately must be judged on the basis of a framework of values, not just in terms of their effectiveness. He put the question of a leader’s relations with his or her followers or constituents on the moral plane, arguing (with the philosopher Immanuel Kant) that leaders should always treat others as ends in themselves, not as objects or mere means to the leader’s ends (which does not necessarily imply that leaders need to be gentle in interpersonal demeanor or “democratic” in style). Burns took an even more extreme view regarding the moral dimension of leadership, maintaining that leaders who do not behave ethically do not demonstrate true leadership. Whatever “true leadership” means, most people would agree that at a minimum it is characterized by a high degree of trust between leader and followers. Bennis and Goldsmith described four qualities of leadership that engender trust: vision, empathy, consistency, and integrity.5 First, we tend to trust leaders who create a compelling vision: who pull people together on the basis of shared beliefs and a common sense of organizational purpose and belonging. Second, we tend to trust leaders who demonstrate empathy with us—who show they understand the world as we see and experience it. Third, we trust leaders who are consistent. This does not mean that we only trust leaders whose positions never change, but that changes are understood as a process of evolution in light of relevant new evidence. Fourth, we tend to trust leaders whose integrity is strong, who demonstrate their commitment to higher principles through their actions. Another important factor affecting the degree of trust between leaders and followers involves fundamental assumptions people make about human natur



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