MIAMI, FL / ACCESSWIRE / August 24, 2021 / Leadership in 2021 comes with extensive responsibilities, many of which can be included under the realm of moral leadership. For employees, one of the most important factors they look for in their supervisors and managers is if they lead in an ethical way. To provide some insight on the importance of moral leadership, Jozef Opdeweegh, author of Fair Value: Reflections on Good Business, reflects on his own journey with leadership.
With over two decades of executive leadership experience in top C-suite roles, there are few more qualified than Jozef Opdeweegh to give advice on this vital topic. Let's walk through the key aspects that enable moral leadership in this modern era, according to Jozef Opdeweegh:
Model Personal Ethics
One of the most important ways to instill ethical values is to lead by example. This includes upholding important company standards and avoiding shortcuts in the workplace. For example, favoritism, cliques, and blame-placing have no place in an ethical workplace, and ethical leaders must be careful to avoid these types of behaviors, even if they are unintentional. Furthermore, good ethical leaders tend to focus their efforts on developing the skills of those they lead rather than becoming the center of attention themselves. Seasoned leaders recognize that others will look up to their actions and that their behaviors are critical to influencing and guiding others.
"I've worked in many different types of office settings," says Jozef Opdeweegh. "In some, leading in an ethical way is natural to the culture, and in others, it's a real challenge. When coming into new office spaces that already have predetermined ways of doing things, it can be hard to stick to your values and act in the way you believe is right. I've had to learn how to stand my moral ground in some situations, but at the end of the day it's earned me a lot of respect, and I've seen the positive impact that ethical leadership has had in many different workplaces."
Employees are Human
As leaders, it might be easy to see employees as means to an end, however, this is counterproductive to have an ethical workplace. In order for leaders to display moral leadership in the workplace, it's vital that they see employees as human (with all the ambitions and frailties and concerns that involves) and demonstrably treat them so. For example, taking the time to get to know individual employees can be greatly beneficial in building more personal connections, which is often a gateway to leaders acting in a more ethical way. When you know people on a deeper level, it becomes more difficult to make unethical workplace decisions that affect them.
Jozef Opdeweegh gives us his take: "One of my biggest priorities when I join a new firm is to learn what the people are all about. By this, I mean that I try to really take the time to get to know people. It can be as easy as a lunch invite. It makes it a lot easier to make ethical decisions when you've taken the time to learn how others view what's right and wrong.' A friend of mine in a leadership position was recently struggling to make a decision about a new system that would greatly decrease their employee's workplace autonomy. We talked about this and he embarked on a series of consultations that helped to arrive at an outcome that balanced the needs and autonomy of his people with the needs of the business.'
Finally, a moral leader needs vision, not just what the company's true goals are, but of its ethos and underlying values. Leading on ethical vision and values requires many attributes, including good listening skills and a commitment to shared beliefs.
Jozef Opdeweegh explains, "Vision is a big word, and it takes an experienced leader to understand what it truly means. I've been fortunate to have had a lot of experience (and experienced mentors) in guiding employees towards a broader company vision. And what I've learned is that unless you found your vision on true and shared values -in other words, unless it has it will seldom have any impact. In my experience, founding a company's mission on narrow self-interested goals taints the whole vision and ultimately the performance of the organization"
Moral leadership is vital for a multitude of reasons, not the least of which is fostering satisfied employees and achieving shared goals. As Jozef Opdeweegh explains, humility, as well as awareness, are two of the best ways to improve your moral leadership capabilities in any office setting, and will likely lead to employees that not only respect you as a leader but also who embrace and engage with the wider ethical goals.
To learn more about the key principles and values that shape outstanding leadership styles, check out Jozef Opdeweegh's new book, Fair Value: Reflection on Good Business published by Koehler Books. Get your copy at your favorite bookstore or retailer today!
Andrew Mitchell, firstname.lastname@example.org
SOURCE: Jozef Opdeweegh
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