Leading and inspiring others to achieve the best they can requires an ongoing willingness to learn, dedication and skill. Great leaders encourage others to reach their true potential as they embrace change. As they seek out fresh perspectives and new ideas, they will help you learn and grow.
While there are other ways of finding inspiration, it’s also helpful to glean advice from ethically minded leaders. Great business leadership comes from the heart. A business leader with a passion to inspire others has the ability to squeeze every ounce of potential out of anyone.
What is ethical leadership?
This is a form of leadership whereby individuals demonstrate conduct that is appropriate and acceptable in every area of their life. Ethical leaders show good values through their actions and words. According to a business review conducted by Harvard, ethical leaders shouldn’t overlook wrongdoing. Doing what’s right and showing integrity are at the core of being an ethical leader, as they are the people who should set the example for others to follow.
In recent times, high-profile ethical failures have hit the headlines – for example, the controversies surrounding Uber, the rideshare giant, and Volkswagen’s emissions scandal. These and others demonstrate the impact of poor ethical choices made by people leading an organization, which may end up in the courts or news.
Ethical leadership consists of three major elements, namely:
- Communication: Leaders should build camaraderie with their team in order to build relationships based on fairness, trust, integrity, respect, compassion and openness.
- Leading by example: By demonstrating and practicing ethical, unselfish and honest behavior, ethical leaders will earn the respect of their peers. By showing integrity and respecting others, leaders are more likely to be respected by people.
- Championing the importance of ethics: Ethical leaders should focus on the overall importance of ethics – this includes ethical standards, ethical issues, and how they can influence society.
If there is a fire in your belly and a desire to do more in your career, and you don’t know where to start, here are some tips that can help.
Find a mentor
A mentor can inspire and help you to achieve your full potential. Mentors have the ability to see things that you might not be able to, and they will also tell you what you don’t want to hear, and offer practical advice.
Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Atlantic airline and world-famous entrepreneur, cites the help of his mentor, Sir Freddie Laker, who was a veteran in the airline industry. Without this mentorship, launching the new airline would probably not have happened. Most importantly, a mentor must help from a position of looking after your interests and believing in you.
One such impactful mentor is Malini Saba, an ardent philanthropist and a self–made businesswoman, who has positively impacted the lives of at-risk and low-income women and children across the globe. She embodies the concept of serving humanity with business, and she is at the forefront of the fight for women’s rights.
Always endeavor to learn new things
Henry Ford, the man behind Ford Motor Company, once said: “Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”
In order to discover new ideas, practices, technologies or industries, among others, you must have an insatiable desire for learning and acquiring new skills. You can find business ideas and inspiration in this learning that can help you grow to greater heights.
Some practical steps you can take to help you learn include:
- Reading booksauthored by successful entrepreneurs.
- Following successful business leaderson social media.
- Reading blogs that are focused on launching businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurship.
- Pursuing a course.
Explore your interests and passions
Many business ideas come from the things that many entrepreneurs are interested in – this could be, for example, women in engineering, sport for young people in deprived areas, the environment, food and cooking, or improving the lives of disabled people.
Just get involved with the things you are passionate about and interested in, as you never know what will inspire you in the process. You could go to events, participate in online discussions, volunteer, join a club, read more, or do anything that gets you involved.
Lastly, the first step in the journey to success is to do something. Don’t pontificate – execute that idea you’ve been thinking about by doing something, anything. It doesn’t matter what you will do – the important thing here is to take steps every day, even if you don’t know where the start point or end point is.
The world of business is full of ethical dilemmas. Ethical leadership is a demonstration of a high regard for values and is critical to the success of any business. It is guided by several principles, including honesty, respect, justice, integrity and community.