Are you living your values every day? It’s not always easy to do what’s right, to recognize your own biases and mistakes, to put people before profits. But these are things that moral leaders do. And the more you do them, the easier they become for yourself and for others who follow you. That’s moral leadership.
Emily Miner leads LRN’s Ethics & Compliance Advisory practice. She helps organizations understand their company culture to inspire ethical behavior using an approach that is co-creative, bottom-up, and data-driven. In addition to leading engagements with organizations in the healthcare, technology, and manufacturing industries, Emily contributes to major research studies and thought leadership.
Emily and I talk about moral leadership, what it is, why it’s so important right now, and what the characteristics of moral leaders are and how they show up in managers.
Read the related blog article: Use your Moral Compass to be a Better Leader
Join the Modern Manager community (www.mamieks.com/join) to get LRN’s The State of Moral Leadership in Business 2019 Report. Note this is available for free to the public because LRN believes in access to knowledge. If you’re a member of the Modern Manager community, it’s available for download on the guest bonus page.
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- In every group setting, we have formal leaders with a specific title or expertise, and those with moral authority who are animated by values and inspire others.
- Formal authority is important but no longer adequate. The world is changing so that profits and shareholders cannot be the primary criteria for business decisions. Globally, employees and consumers are beginning to demand business leaders make choices aligned with their values, not only finances.
- Moral leadership is needed at all levels of an organization. It starts with role modeling. When employees see their managers demonstrate characteristics of moral leadership, they are more likely to demonstrate those characteristics too.
- For managers, moral leadership means thinking “what’s the right thing to do here,” putting my organization’s purpose above my own individual interests, thinking beyond my team and connecting dots across the organization.
- There are seven main capacities of moral leadership. The two with the most outsized impact are (1) the ability to see people as people, not as a resource to get the job done, (2) the ability to hold really high ethical standards and pursue what is right, not what is needed right now.
- The remaining capacities are: (1) Starting with a pause and reflecting, (2) fostering freedom to do the work in new/creative ways, (3) demonstrating humility, (4) acting with courage, (5) seeking the truth.
- Try exercising your moral muscles by asking yourself the tough questions of what’s right and wrong, what’s fair, where are my blind spots and biases, am I living my values?
KEEP UP WITH EMILY
LRN report: The State of Moral Leadership in Business 2019