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How principles and ethics influence higher work standards

Ethical Leadership
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Leadership profiles

The ethical leader places very high value on principles and ethical practices. They follow high standards and expect their team's and others to hold themselves to the same high ethical standards. Personal values include trust, honesty, consideration, charisma, and fairness.

Sometimes called Moral Leadership, these leaders are highly conscientious, often seen as influential and can be the crucial core of an organisation in a crisis. Their foundation of strong ethics and principles is often leveraged by an organization seeking to maintain brand integrity and trust.

They are ideal in roles where ethics play a large role in the vocation, such as a judge, lawyer, doctor, or as a manager in a pharmaceutical company.

What does a higher score mean?

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You are an ethical leader, who tends to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. You put your ethics before the bottom line or organizational goals, you are often loyal, dedicated and bring that out in your team.

What does a lower score mean?

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You do not put a high value on ethics and are much more goal-oriented than principal oriented. You are willing to do what it takes to achieve the goal, even if it means bending a few rules and breaking a few promises.

To nurture your Ethical Leadership:

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Understand and define your non-negotiable values, principles, and ethics, and ensure you are in an organization that matches your ethical attributes. Lead by example to inspire loyalty and commitment to your goals. Leverage your self-confidence to speak up and ensure that you do not compromise your ethics to achieve organisational goals. Work through ethical dilemmas in a productive manner.

Use this checklist for self-evaluation

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  • Do you work in a company you believe in?
  • Do you work for a leader you respect?
  • Do you work with people you trust?
  • Do you feel you can be transparent in your team?
  • Are you ever asked to compromise your beliefs in your role?

Examples of Ethical Leaders:


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I often reflect on my thoughts

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I do not often think about the way I am feeling

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I enjoy exploring my “inner self"

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I often reflect on my feelings

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Others would benefit from reflecting more on their thoughts

< Strongly Disagree
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I am interested in analysing the behaviour of others

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I value opportunities to evaluate my behaviour

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It is important to understand why people behave in the way they do

< Strongly Disagree
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When I’m feeling uncomfortable, I can easily name these feelings

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I usually know why I am feeling the way I do

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I am often on auto-pilot and do not pay much attention to what I am doing

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Sometimes I am careless because I am preoccupied, with many things on my mind

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I often dwell on the past or the future, rather than the present

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My mind often wanders when I am trying to concentrate

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I often find myself thinking about how to solve past negative events

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When things go wrong, I often think about them constructively for long periods of time

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I tend not to look back and think about how I could have done things better

< Strongly Disagree
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