Ethical behaviour matters more than ever before. Leaders who understand this are more likely to attract staff and clients. The ‘pull’ factor, the growing of a tribe and the accelerating emphasis on corporate social responsibility all point to ethical leadership as being a key trait.
Over the last year I have interviewed thirty leaders as part of some book research on collaboration. Those that demonstrate the most collaborative behaviours are also ones that I believe model the following ethical essentials for leaders:
- Relationships – they genuinely care about people. It’s not faked.
- DWTSTWD – they do what they say they will do. They are aligned, coherent and credible.
- Take a wider view – they consider the greater good, not just what is expedient for them and their organisation.
- Practice and support ethical initiatives – from recycling to community projects.
- Are staunch about global well being – they care about the planet and influence proactively.
One of the businesses here in Christchurch is a great example of ethics in practice. Andrew and his team at Treology focus on creating functional art. It’s beautiful. But more than that it is an ‘experience in ethics’ from start to finish. It focuses on sustainability, with the wood being sourced from the lakes, rivers and fiords of New Zealand. On their website it describes its unique approach:
- Sustainable naturally-felled or reclaimed timber
- No nasty chemicals or glue
- Every part of every piece of timber used or recycled
- Travel to the source with GPS mapping
Check out this video about Treology and you will see what I mean. Ethical behaviour comes from the top. And increasingly that is what others will follow.
You are being watched. More than ever before. Everything you do pulls people towards you or pushes them away.