Leaders and Ethics

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This topic contains 9 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Andrew Krzmarzick 7 years, 5 months ago.

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  • #143428

    Why do leaders fail ethically when it is so obvious to the rest of us how they should act?

  • #143446

    …because they think they can get away with it? It seems like hubris is the primary reason for ethical failures among anyone who feels as if their level of influence supersedes the laws of the land…or, at minimum, the boundaries of common ethical behavior.

  • #143444

    Pattie Buel

    Because we have the benefit of hindsight and of having the bigger picture? I’m always interested in finding out if the leaders involved in a “failure” would have made the same decisions at the same time if they had to do it over again? Were the decisions they made the best ones they could have made given the info they had at the time? What affected the timing of the decisions and do they believe they made the decisions at the right time (what made them not wait for that next piece of info)? I think we’ve all made decisions that others would label as “bad” but that we are comfortable with as having been the best decision possible given the information we had at the time and the consequences of failing to act by certain time or at all

    Of course, I’m talking about the long term/short term, greater good types of decisions, not the morally despicable types of decisions.

  • #143442

    Robert Bacal

    I think that ethical failures on the part of leaders is a little different than how people conceptualize it. My experience is that what happens is that it’s a SLIDE into doing the wrong things, rather than people actually thinking things through and deciding to do unethical things. Certainly there are unethical people, generally, but it’s kind of a slippery slope kind of thing.

    A few cut corners that are not outright unethical then leads to bigger cut corners that ARE more clearly over the line. I think there’s also a psychological tendency for people to do things in the name of efficiency or speed, and that appear to “hurt nobody”.

    Robert Bacal


  • #143440

    Jay Johnson

    I disagree. I don’t think leaders are that much more subseptible to ethical failure than the rest of us. They are however, constantly under the microscope – every move watched, every sound bite recorded for YouTube, every motive questioned, every action second-guessed. Sure we have higher expectations of our public leaders, but is that being unrealistic?

    I don’t excuse unethical behavior and I’m not against holding them accountable. But saying that the right answers are “so obvious to the rest of us” sounds a bit simplistic, as if one is Monday morning quarterbacking.

  • #143438

    Victoria L. Beatley

    Because they have lost sight of their purpose and have fallen into the power trap.

  • #143436

    Joy Muhammad

    After reading the book ” The Speed of Trust, I believe if one study the principles of the 4 Cores of Credibility Leadership may be differant. Why not go back to basics and start with self. If leaders take a good look at themselves, they would eliminate the unethical practices and start living a life built on freedom, justice and equality. The golden rule is treat others as you would want to be treated.

  • #143434

    We agree Andrew with your comments especially when you states that”their level of influence supersedes the laws of the land.” We believe the level of influence is the most negative factor for leaders. Thank you for your comment!

  • #143432

    Great comments and questions! Unfortunately Pattie some “leaders” make the same mistake more than twice because their decisions are based on their level of influence and power. Other, consider their decisions based on the time, structures, political environment and especially in their personal experiences. Thank you for your comment!

  • #143430

    Thank you very much for your comment! We agree with you that the human being have a tendency doing the wrong things and in that group are the Leaders. We consider that lack of ethic is a virus in which only few leaders with strong ethical and moral values survive. Thank you for sharing with us the Leadertoday.org We visit it and it is very helpful. Have a great day!

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