Effective leadership and management has to consider factors such as trust, ethical decision making, and morals in business settings.
Positive business relationships are important not because they engender warm, fuzzy feelings, but because they engender trust – a vital part of effective leadership and management and a means of securing desired actions from others. People will view a course of action as less risky, and therefore more acceptable when it is suggested by someone that they trust.
One way to build that trust is through ethical leadership and management. For example, rather than looking narrowly at how a proposal would benefit your organization, show organizational leadership by considering how it would affect society.
“Moral decisions come from asking what will do the most good rather than what will do the most good for a small group that happens to be connected to us,” writes Harvard Business School professor Max H. Bazerman in his book, Better, Not Perfect: A Realist’s Guide to Maximum Sustainable Goodness (HarperCollins, 2020).
Many organizations strive for moral leadership; too many fall short of that goal. When moral leadership is lacking in an organization, employees ended up disaffected and alienated, productivity suffers, and unethical behavior becomes more likely.
Moral leadership and management don’t require perfect behavior, but they do require a willingness to do better. Leaders can encourage more ethical behavior by highlighting ethical concerns in business settings.
The barriers women negotiators face when negotiating for jobs and career advancement are well known: Women who ask for more money or better opportunities can face a backlash for violating traditional gender norms.
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