leadership, ethics, leadership skills, ethical environment, rewards, training, lead

Leadership establishes Ethics: The LEAD Concept

on March 16 | in Ethics in the Office, Featured | by | with No Comments

Spread the love

Are you a Boss or a Leader? Leadership establishes ethics because the word itself states to lead. We spend a multitude of hour‘s in the workplace and observe all sorts of personalities and behaviors. Behavioralist theorize behavior is innate to genetics. Also, learned behavior is through our environment, experiences and formed from influences. A boss is a major influence in the office and dictates what employees should be doing but a leader shows you what to do. Good bosses are leader’s first because leadership establishes ethics.

The Lead concept has three components in how your leadership establishes ethics for your workplace.


  • 1) Treating the employees ethically
  • 2) Reward ethical behavior
  • 3) Train for ethics.

Treat Employees Ethically

Leaders treat employees the way they would want to be treated. If you demand respect, you have to respect your employees. An important aspect of ethics is respect. A leader should respect his employees and in return this creates the proper communication among one another. If you belittle your employees they will grow to resent you, creating animosity and an unhappy work environment. Employees should want to go to work because if they don’t, this reflects performance.

Reward Ethical Behavior

Part of being a good leader is motivating your team. We want everyone in the workplace to be successful, creating higher productivity, fewer risks, and costs due to lower error. Furthermore, Trustworthiness is an ethical value and when trust is devloped your team makes your job easier. A leader estblishes trust in the office but what happens when someone violates trust.

Operant Conditioning is a method of learning that occurs through rewards and punishments for behavior. We will focus on positive and negative conditioning aspects of reinforcement (reward) and taking away of something that someone enjoys(punishment).

It can be something as simple as coffee and doughnuts or bonuses. Bringing in coffee or giving a bonus is a reward, but when employees are not doing well not receiving the small rewards is noteworthy. Unconsciously they will observe the trend and look forward to the reward. In return, they will want to do well. An example is a reward for trusting employees to meet deadlines or send a memo on time. If they complete the task and there is a reward(employees tend to want to continue the behavior) but if they fail to complete the task(reward removed) and there is no coffee, doughnuts or bonus the employee makes an association with not complying or fulfilling what was asked of them.

Train for Ethics

We tend to adjust to certain acceptable codes of conduct that our boss upholds us to known as rule based ethics. In addition as a leader, we do not want our employees to be ethical only because we our watching. They should be ethical because of their values, which are conveyed in the workplace. The hardest part of ethics is standing up for what is right and not conforming to others when you know its wrong. According to Corporate Director Brooke, she explains Zimbardo’s experiment by Stanford research suggests that even the most ethitcal individuals can change their value under pressure.

Also, research on Ethical fading by Harvard focuses on this particular concept of stimulus and fear. A leader can place social fitness training programs that aid in the muscle memory of fear and mindfulness of ethical behavior scenarios, neuroscientist call this priming of the brain. If we can implement training on unethical scenarios, your employees will find it easier to be ethical in tough situations.

As Corporate Director for the Heroic Imagination Project (HIP), Brooke helps boards, executives, and teams at all levels develop the skills to act with courage and ingenuity in the face of challenging situations. This fosters leadership credibility and candor, builds trust, engagement and reduces risk.

In closing leadership establishes ethics and you can implement the LEAD concept in your workplace for a more ethical enviroment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

« »

Scroll to top