How And Why Leaders Should Model Ethical Behavior

why business leaders should model ethical behavior ceo

As the internet and cloud technologies continue to evolve at rapid paces, the “size” of the business world continues to shrink. Ultimately, this means more opportunities to grow the bottom line, and easier means of doing so, but there are also challenges. With a wider breadth of potential business partners comes a need for things like cross-cultural leadership and diversity and inclusion training. 

In a perfect world, all humans would want to grow and learn, but unfortunately that’s not the world we live in, especially when money is involved. With that, ensuring your company’s chosen leaders are ethical and moral is more important than ever, as employees and customers, alike, will be from more diverse backgrounds, and an open mind is generally an ethically-sound mind. 

As it is a business world, decisions do need to be made with income in mind, but luckily molding an ethical and morally sound culture is a win-win situation, as these companies have greater longevity with both employees and customers, each playing integral roles in the growth of a given company. From local to global business leaders, ethical leadership means good leadership, and here are a few ways of recognizing and harboring ethical behavior in your leaders. 


Ethics both in the workplace and beyond starts with honesty, and as important as being honest is, when it comes to a leader it is just as important to create an environment where honesty is expected and rewarded, and anything to the contrary is dealt with sternly. Being transparent about the reasons for work or lacks thereof is paramount. Employees understand that they won’t always have the easiest job in the office, but being honest about why they were given the hardest job, and recognizing and rewarding their efforts in that job, builds trust very quickly. 

That trust is important in creating a culture that stays transparent with each other, which also leads to more respect being shared in the workplace, another trait of a great ethical leader. 

Growth Mindset 

Ethical leaders should also display a growth mindset, and if your current leaders do not, they should have training on the growth mindset sooner than later. Leaders who display this do so by evaluating themselves as often as they evaluate their team members. Being able to recognize self-flaws is a great trait of a leader, as fixing those flaws will help the business, as well. 

For many individuals in the growing workplace, cultural diversity and inclusion is a major point that should be focused on with a growth mindset. It’s natural to be used to things happening the same way, but it’s important to be able to realize that “the way things have always been” doesn’t necessarily mean they have been done right. Inclusivity is much easier to come by when leaders actively discuss the growth mindset, and aren’t afraid to admit that they need to change something. 

Team Mindset 

A great team mindset is important for any leader, and it’s also a great tell if you’re looking to see if someone will be an ethical leader. Focusing on the team before the self is an ethical and morally sound thing to do in any situation, and in the business world it also leads to things like employee retention, which saves money and generally results in more successful businesses. 

All of these traits of ethical leaders revolve around being a good human and thinking about everyone, not just oneself or those appointed above them. Practice what you preach, and preach it often!

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