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Ethical Behaviour: Personal Lives and Business Leadership

Table of Contents
Executive Summary. 3
Table 1 Summary: Individual Contribution. 3
Table 2 Summary: Qualitative Assessment of Individual Contribution. 4
Introduction. 5
Argumentative Part 6
Conclusion. 14
References. 15
Executive Summary
Everyone has the entitlement to privacy whether he/she is a public figure or a business leader. However, public life demands that individuals at the helm of leadership conceptualize certain things that guide their behaviour both in public and private situations. Becoming a corporate leader demands observing public service ethics, this in turn demands that individuals give public interest priority to shape their behaviours whether they are executing private or public life. It is not always conceivable that the ethical behaviour of leaders in their personal lives automatically reflect their ethical behaviour as business leaders. It is this conviction that makes it meaningful for individuals to have separate private and public lives. Usually, the image individuals volunteer to represent them in public might be hard to extend to private lives. Too often, the desire to improve business leadership has made it tempting to spy on individuals’ private lives to validate one’s authenticity to ethical leadership. This in essence stipulates that leaders should not take leave of personal ethics that makes them who they are even in private. Within the leadership principles, keeping to high ideals cherished in business leadership is the best way to carry one’s self whether in private or public space.
Table 1 Summary: Individual Contribution
Fatima A got involved in information search, constant communication with the tutor, and preparation of a summary of members’ tasks, which indicated the project’s milestones. Fatima S notes that meeting evaluation ensures that personnel are able to implement their learning concepts in their respective work areas. She got involved in organising group meetings to facilitate the completion of the entire project. In addition, Fatima S ensured that each member was up-to-date or at par with the project’s information. She went on to prepare summaries of meetings that members attended. Lastly, Fatima S prepared a member skill assessment to gauge the skills of each group member. Fatima J saw the need to scheme for survival of the business by acting on a weekly reporting form and embarking on a rigorous follow up. Be it as it may, the survival scheming involved employing a workforce to investigate the problems at hand to provide the necessary solutions. Moreover, she ensured that group members meet the tutor at close intervals through well-planned appointments.
Noor had a role of summarising the members’ response in a single sheet. He, at the same time, was engaged in searching for the paper’s argument apart from preparing the accountability plan for the members. Aisha, on her part, recorded the code of conduct that guided the members while working on the project. She also took part in searching for the argument to submit a quality paper. According to, Aisha, majority of businesses fail because they their fail to plan. Where businesses fail in their planning, it is not that they do not usually have the required knowledge, tools, and expertise to do so. It is because they fail to work their plans.
Table 2 Summary: Qualitative Assessment of Individual Contribution
In terms of research and collection of relevant information, Noor was the best with a rating of 6 out of the possible 6; he provided unique contents. Fatima S and Fatima J both collected valid information from different scholarly sources; they had a rating of 5. Aisha got a rating of 4.5 as she found related contents. Fatima A scored 3.5 for just finding some good content. As group work requires sharing of information, out of the possible score of 6, Fatima S and Fatima J scooped 6; they kept updating their colleagues effectively of new information. The remaining three members scored 3 apiece for informing the group of the obtained information.
Cooperation is fundamental in success of any group. In this category, Fatima S, Fatima J, and Aisha had relation with all members with all scoring 5. Fatima A and Noor scored 3 each for registering average cooperation. In the part of contribution, Fatima A performed poorly by registering a score of 1. Fatima J was the best with a score of 6, as she constantly helped members with tasks like collection of particular information and work editing. Fatima S followed her closed at 5.5; she assisted the leader frequently apart from the good contribution. An average contribution was noted on Aisha and Noor, making them score 4. On listening to members’ ideas, Fatima J recorded the highest value, 6 for being a good listener of members’ opinions. Fatima S got 5 for being attentive to members ideas and giving nice responses. Fatima A, Noor and Aisha who all had good listening scored 3. Lastly, on work completion, Fatima J met the deadline and scored 6; Noor and Fatima S had good punctuality, and recorded a score of 5; and Fatima A and Aisha both scored 4 for failing to attend some meetings even though they met the deadline.
While the expectations of corporate leadership approach focus on the virtues of promoting efficiency and improving productivity while running organizations, humanity has not find it easy living to the expectations of the doctrine (Riccucci, 2010). In private instances, people retreat to certain lifestyles that might not necessarily portray the kind of a corporate leader they project in public. The aim of ethical behaviour is to use market competition strategies and business practices to make organizations or institutions work better. Within the concept public service for example, ethics demands that those in leadership positions observe the necessary decorum to offer effective direction to followers (Northouse, 2010). In practice, keeping to the dictates of public ethics decorum has always dodged many hence the need to hone the behaviour of individuals in leadership.
Argumentative Part
Perhaps certain leadership theories and styles as approaches to leadership might be instrumental in shaping the behaviour individuals. Leadership style explores a particular and a confined set of behaviours used by an individual to give direction to followers. In essence, within corporate practice individual behaviour matters most (Tarallo, 2012), and whether individuals are in private or public places, their behaviour has to remain relevant. Transformational and transactional leadership styles are partly instrumental in guiding the behaviour of individuals since these leadership styles seek to inspire individuals to modify their behaviour to act as leaders regardless of the situation in which they are (Palanski & Yammarino, 2009). Thus, whenever leaders align themselves with no leadership styles, there is likelihood that they might fall pray of temptations that might negate their behaviour in private capacities. It is no doubt that specific leadership theories are instrumental in developing cognitive skills. The skills might be instrumental in guiding the behaviours of leaders to present themselves with adequate decorum regardless of the situation under which they work and live. As Abualrub and Alghamdi (2012) note, authoritarian or paternalistic leadership approaches apply both parenting and strict disciplinarian tendencies capable of making individuals to drift adequately between work and personal lives. It is expected that business leaders give the necessary guidance when they are at personal level.
The essential manner in which business leaderless survive the differing divides in life is the adoption of positive reinforcement that makes individual behaviour resonate to the environmental concerns without losing focus of self. Positive reinforcement usually occurs when a positive stimulus makes a follow up especially in response to a behaviour that seeks to increase the likelihood of behaviour modification (Palanski & Yammarino, 2009). Individuals might be good as corporate leaders; however, they might exhibit certain behaviours that the public are not accustomed to. Addressing individual behaviours at private level could be hard hence the need for individuals with unbecoming conducts to seek redress where necessary. Perhaps the strategies that a public leader could use in order to overcome the weaknesses inherent in his / her leadership style includes the ability to know one’s weaknesses and capacity to transform those weaknesses into strengths. Generally, public leadership is demanding and for it to be effective and sustainable, the need to develop new approaches arises constantly. Business leadership is among the areas that seek to safeguard the wellbeing of humanity hence the need to trust it with reliable individuals whose behaviours are beyond reproach. Individuals in business leadership must accommodate the necessary and reliable practices available to them to navigate the many behaviour concerns inherent within the corporate world. A case study of a situation that supports the claim is that of Bill Gates. Bill Gates is an example of an accommodative personality from his family values to the workplace. With his three children, Phobea, Rory, and Jennifer with Melinda French, Bill Gates presents himself as a people loving and caring individuals (Bill Gates – Personal Life, n.d.). At the workplace, Gates applies the same team spirit in engaging his employees. Together with his wife, they formed the Melinda Gates Foundation to care for the poor. Clearly, the personal characters of the Gates family are reflected in their management styles at the business front.
The concept of ethical principles in leadership denotes that there are certain approaches of doing things or behaving in accordance with professionalism. Once a leader, always a leader regardless of the situation one is in (Palanski & Yammarino, 2009). However, certain individuals prefer retreating to their cocoons once they are out of public limelight. This usually contravenes the provisions that respect the ethical standards of professionalism (British Association for Counselling & Physiotherapy [PACP], 2012). Regardless of the situation, leaders have to meet the expectations of ethics and ensure that their conduct fall within the context of leadership ideals cherished within the corporate world. Ethics as Bosede (2010) notes denote moral standards that influence or control individuals’ behaviour while outlining a philosophical discipline concerned with individuals’ conduct that guide moral decision-making at a personal level. Ethical codes are inspirational in nature and their tenets are to inspire and guide business leaders to align their behaviour toward professional ideals.
To hone an individual’s character, a great sense of self-esteem is necessary. Self-esteem consists of respect for self as well as the regard to the consent of others. However, certain individuals in leadership positions have little or no regard for the consent of others. This principle according to Bosede (2010) emphasizes the significance of the commitment by a business leader to participate in the process of ethical mannerism regardless of the situation. Leaders who demonstrate respect toward the autonomy of others have a chance of others reciprocating their good gesture. However, certain individuals in leadership positions extend their authority to private space; hence limiting other people’s input. Such individuals might show disregard for others’ opinion, hence risk being irrelevant in positions in leadership. In guaranteeing self-esteem, individuals are tasked with the ethical character building practices to inform the basis of their lifestyles (PACP, 2012). Self-esteem guarantees that individuals in leadership positions engage others in open dealings to develop a positive public image.
Business leadership advocates a strong commitment to promote the well-being of a client within ethical leadership process. It is expected that leaders extend such ethical traits to shape their private lives to earn due respect to build their personality. While certain leaders use their positions to benefit themselves, business ethics demands that individuals act in the best interest envisioned by corporate ideals to build as a benchmark on their behaviour (PACP, 2012). Business leadership directs attention to strictly working within an individual’s limits of competence as well as providing services based on adequate training and experience. Making sure that the best interests of the client are tenable warrants systematic monitoring of the processes that in turn shapes one’s character. Even though certain individuals in leadership positions abuse their integrity in private places, it is important ethical character be the benchmark of one’s behaviour whether he/she is in public or private places. Equally, with this behavioural approach, there is an obligation to use regular practices as well as an ongoing supervision mechanism to mitigate faults and enhance the quality of services offered to progress professional development (Bosede, 2010).
Business leadership constitutes a commitment to strive to avoid harm to a client. Thus, it consists of avoiding emotional, financial, sexual, and other forms of exploitation directed toward a client (Bosede, 2010). Business leadership also takes into account considering not serving clients as the situation may dictate from time to time may be due to illness, intoxication, or by virtue of personal circumstances. Business leadership warrants individuals to explore ethical responsibility and try to mitigate any physical or emotional harm extended to clients (PACP, 2012). Where applicable, leaders have a duty to challenge the incompetence of their counterparts and issue correctional advice to both the client and the practitioner. Further the doctrines of business leadership allows concerned parties to contribute to viable investigation as well as adjudication that pertains to professional practice that falls below the threshold of reasonable competent practice that may risk or discredit the fabric of professional ethical leadership. An example of Steve Jobs’ ruthless personal behaviour is not reflected at the business level. At the Apple Company, he placed innovative strategies that helped the firm grow many folds; he ensured that innovation became the main pillar at Apple (Curry, 2011). Steve jobs was ruthless at his personal behaviour. He went on a date with several women, and eventually sired a daughter, Lisa Brennan Jobs with his high school girlfriend, Chris Ann Brennan (Curry, 2011). For most part of his life, Jobs denied paternity for Lisa arguing in court that he was not able to have children because of his infertility. Even though his personal ethics seemed weird, he presented a different face at the workplace to ensure progress. Clearly, ethical behaviour at personal level did not influence his behaviour at the Apple Company.
Effective leadership style in managing subordinates relies on different variables ranging from a leader’s own personality and the individual subordinates’ mien. While most researchers agree that authoritative leadership yield better results, cooperative leadership styles have of late shown greater impetus among the subordinates. To better govern an organization, Goleman (2000) posits that people in such leadership capacities must always be well acquainted with individual personalities that inform their subordinates. A leadership style that is most effective in the management of subordinates requires cultivation. For leaders to know what works best for their teams, it would be necessary to build bridges that cut through a cross-section of their teams. Of much importance is to be well versed with the individual people they lead and build a rapport with each member of their team. Building a formidable knowledge base is vital, especially in establishing respect, building a rapport founded on mutual trust and understanding (Goleman, 2000). As with leading subordinates, leaders must carry alongside some of the infinite elements of leadership, including but not limited to a willingness to listen and ability to be flexible and accommodative. Leadership style generally, affects the delivery of subordinates in an organization. The leadership style that yields the much-coveted results, such as high productivity, innovation, flexibility among the subordinates should be cultured within the management. Leaders on their part must reciprocate and position themselves as team players and mentors who champion the change agenda.
Ethical leadership recognizes the fact that it is the sole prerogative of the leaders to ensure that the principles that govern an organization are preserved and followed to the letter. Ethical leadership demands that individuals within an organization are cognizance of the fact that core values cherished by the organization are its yardstick (Kotter, 2007). Hence striving to live by the set principles are the drivers of its common good. According to Duggan (2003), the essentials of ethical leadership inform individuals to embody a most inestimable level of integrity while making commitment their sole priority. Ethical leadership guarantees the relevant modern concepts that guide business organizations and provides the foundation stone that widens individual and corporate social responsibilities (Mullins, 2010). Ethical leadership is informed by moral factors that influence public sector or governmental institutions to offer quality services under proper considerations. Ethical leadership according to Duggan (2003) encompasses modulating employees to see the essence of the relationships that is founded on mutual trust and respect. The essence of ethical leadership also recognizes the fact that leaders have to uphold high ideals in forms of integrity, equity, fairness and honesty of purpose. The basis of ethical leadership is to tender compassion in all areas of interaction within the organization while aiming to achieve sustainability and success.
Debate on whether or not there is one best approach for ethical leadership continues to inform leadership research. Lately, studies on ethical leadership assume that there is no single most way to practice ethical leadership (Chen, 2013). Rather, the approach depends on the prevailing conditions that inform an organization’s business. Most empirical and theoretical studies hold that ethical leadership should be the preserve of exemplary leadership (Van Wart 2005). The moral goal of ethical leadership in this view is to uphold organizational principles within an organization’s structure. Another significant view of ethical leadership according to Palanski and Yammarino (2009) concerns the characteristics and the considerations of leader-follower relationship. This view holds that leaders’ behaviours and ethical decisions have a bearing on the conduct of the follower and directly affect both the leader and the follower in equal measure.
In situations where leaders accountability is widely seen to be having an impact on the fabric of an organization such as in the public sector, such leaders are expected to uphold high levels of integrity that conforms to the set standards of the wider organization. Ethical considerations have been a driving force to reckon with. Within the public sector administration, researchers, several scholars and strategists have always attempted to address this concern (Chen, 2013). Currently, majority of the values that have hitherto been documented to be working harmoniously with the public sector administration have been explored within the vortex of independent mindedness and the broader question of leadership. Generally, most of the factors that are associated with ethical leadership are those values that are also associated with the leadership theories, such as transactional and transformational leadership models. The essence of which is to associate the ethical values with the expectations of the public (McShane & Travaglione, 2007). Virtually, for ethical standards to take root in all the departments that offer various services there must be guiding principles.
Generally, individuals do not necessarily become ethical leaders by being in possession of required traits for good leadership. On can have strong command of personal ethical behaviour, but uses different ethical behaviour at the business level. One’s ethical behaviour in personal life actually has no bearing on the behaviour at business level. This has been demonstrated in Steve Jobs case. He showed weird behaviour at personal level, but went on to present different behaviours at the workplace – a character that propelled the Apple Company. On the other hand, Bill and Melinda Gates presented a case in which ethical behaviour at personal level had a strong influence/bearing at the business front. Therefore, the application of ethical behaviour both at personal and business level depends with an individual.
Abualrub, R., & Alghamdi, M. (2012). The impact of leadership styles on nurses’ satisfaction and intention to stay among Saudi nurses. Journal of Nursing Management, 20(6), 668–678.
Bill Gates – Personal Life. (n.d.). Bill Gates. Retrieved December 3, 2015, from http://billgates.weebly.com/personal-life.html
Bosede, A. (2010). Ethical principles of guidance and counselling. Retrieved from http://www.medwelljournals.com/fulltext/?doi=ijtmed.2010.50.53
British Association for Counselling & Physiotherapy (2012). Ethical principles of counselling and psychotherapy. Retrieved from http://www.bacp.co.uk/ethical_framework/ethics.php                                 
Chen, C. (2013). How does paternalistic style leadership relate to team cohesiveness in soccer coaching? Social Behaviour and Personality, 41(1), 83-94
Curry, C. (2011, October 6). Steve Jobs’ Secret Private Life. ABC News. Retrieved from http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/steve-jobs-secret-private-life/story?id=14678496
Duggan, T. (2013). What are the key elements of ethical leadership in an organization? Retrieved from http://yourbusiness.azcentral.com/key-elements-ethical-leadership-organization-8819.html
Goleman, D. (2000). Leadership that gets the results. Harvard Business Review, 3(6), 78-90
Kotter, J. P. (2007). Leading Change. Harvard Business Review, 85(1), 96-103.
McShane, S. & Travaglione, T. (2007). Organisational business: On the pacific rim. 2nd edn. New South Wales: McGraw-Hill
Moti, U. (2013). The public sector and ethical transformation: Issues and implications for the bureaucracy. Retrieved from https://www.academia.edu/2601345/The_Public_Sector_and_Ethical_Transformation_Issues_and_Implications_for_the_Bureaucracy
Mullins, L. (2010). Management & organisational behaviour. 9th Edition. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited.
Northouse, G. P. (2010). Leadership: Theory and practice. New York: Sage Publications
Palanski, M.E., & F. J. Yammarino. (2009). Integrity and leadership: A multi-level conceptual framework. Leadership Quarterly, 20(3), 405-420.
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