Using Leadership to Improve Ethical Performance essay


UsingLeadership to Improve Ethical Performance

UsingLeadership to Improve Ethical Performance


  1. What are the greatest challenges you face as a leader?

  2. What Communication styles do you apply as a leader and how are they helpful?

  3. What motivates you in your Work?

  4. How do you help others stay focused at work?

  5. Do you believe in ethical leadership? What entails such form of leadership?

  6. Is performance an important aspect in your work?

  7. Which actions do you take when a teammate is underperforming?

HisViews on Motivation

Theindividual I interviewed is named John Smith. He works at a foodmanufacturing company as a sales manager. He explained that he takeshis leadership position seriously because he has to deliver on adaily basis. Responding to what motivates him as a leader heexplained that the desire to completely meet the demand of customersconsuming their products pushes him in everyday of his operation. Thepassion he has for his work helps him seek out creative challengesand also take a great pride in a job well done. He also gains anunflagging energy to carry out his work better.

Smith’seagerness to explore new approaches to his work also keeps himworking with a high spirit. He explained that at one time he wasfrustrated because he had to wait for two weeks to get the results onsales from employees he sent to the field. He took the initiative totrack them down through an automatic phone system reminding each ofhis sales people every day at five in the evening to dial in theirnumber to show how many sales and calls they had made. The systemresulted to short feedback time on sales results from weeks to hours.

Theinterviewee asserted that motivating underperforming teammates isalso instrumental to better performance. From his views,restructuring jobs to fit junior employees creates a chance toidentify a talent that is not being used and then offering him/her achance to work on a new thing that uses the skill they have leads tomotivation. Cross training and job-sharing also keep work fresh everyday hence motivating the employees (Mihelic Lipicnik &amp Tekavcic,2010). He also admitted that offering regular recognition of hisemployees by acknowledging their work verbally, with a note or anemail motivated them to work smarter and harder in their daily salesoperations.

Tyingrewards to results motivates underperforming teammates. According toSmith, if you cannot afford raises, then you should consider bonusesbased on performance or even profit-sharing schemes where employeesget financial rewards for bringing additional revenues to thecompany. According to Bolden and Gosling (2006), motivation isimportant before making a decision of firing an underperforming teammate. When a team member is working extra hard to overcome bad habitor a particularly heavy workload, an ethical leader looks for areaswhere he can provide motivational support (Bolden &amp Gosling,2006). A smart leader recognizes self-motivation as an important workimprovement tool. He finds out what gets his teammate excited likemoney, peer recognition or more vacation days and uses that tomotivate a staff member.

Moreover,effective communication is another aspect that the respondentindentified that is important in motivating others. According to theinterviewee, bottom-up communication is important whereby everyemployee has an opportunity to share their perspectives to aidenhance creativity. The interviewee says that he does not liketop-down communication because it usually involves a director ormanager offering directives to other employees, which limits theopportunities of such workers to explore their talents. Ass such, henoted that allowing employees to share ideas freely facilitateseffective communication and innovation in a firm, hence motivatingthe staff.

HisViews on Ethical Leadership

Smithis an honest person that believes in truth and trusting hiscolleagues. From his explanation, he perceives ethical leadershipmandatory aspect for a good manager. He explained that an ethicalleader is one that makes ethics salient in their social environmentby setting ethical standards in the company. Rewarding ethicalconduct and punishing unethical behavior is also an ethicalleadership practice he supports (Charan, Drotter &amp Noel, 2011).He also viewed being ethical to be all about playing fair, alwaysthinking about the welfare of those he leads and thinking about theconsequences of their actions. Ethical leaders think about benefitsand drawbacks of their decisions and long-term consequences. Heexplained that in order to be true to their beliefs and their values,ethical leaders are ones that are prepared to compete in a differentbattle on the market where sometimes to do what is right is not thedomineering factor is.

Myrespondent asserted that ethical conduct is a result of one’spersonality and his characters and not a result of learningexperience. He further narrated that an ethical leader is aself-controlled purposeful person who is heedful regarding theconsequences. He believes being ethical is a personal quality linkedto characteristic conducts and not as a result of training programsstressing on undeniable moral principles. Smith admitted he holds theresponsibility, as the leader, for sustaining and developingconditions in which employees under his department are likely tobehave themselves, and minimizing the conditions in which they arelikely to misbehave.

Fromwhat he narrated, he considers ethical leadership to be characterizedby a communication style which uses power to promote a vision thatserves the needs of all the employees. He went further to argue thatan ethical leader is one who empowers others, models moral behavior,encourages his juniors’ personal goals, and shares any credit thatmight result. A two-way communication style is therefore used toelicit different ideas, reactions, viewpoints, and honest responsefrom teammates (Jordan, 2002). From his view, the behavior andcommunication of ethical leaders show evidence of a very strong moralcharacter.

HisViews on Performance

Regardingperformance, Smith told me that he believes that good performancedeserves reward because motivated employees perform best. He gave afew explanations as to why he thinks employee performance isimportant in the organization. He noted that Product Quality-Employee connection is an essential aspect of performance in the jobplace. Since his business focus is the manufacture of high qualityfood products, employee performance play an integral part inachieving the business goals. He added that quality assurance andmarketing of the organization’s food products are important to thebusiness.

Performanceof an employee is directly connected to customer service (Drotter,2011). In line with Drotter’s statement, Smith explains that whenemployees provide exceptional customer service, they are exceedingjob expectations and that the popularity of the company’s productsdepends on the level of service received by the customers. He viewsemployee performance and performance management to be importantaspects when an organization identifies its goals. As such, a manageris enabled to identify employees with outstanding communication andinterpersonal skills whom he will place upfront to handle thecustomers’ daily business needs.

Accordingly,he told me that the employees he leads or rather manages, highlyvalue performance because it is through best performance that themanagers get to identify them for promotion and rewards (Drotter,2011). Good performance in every activity an employee undertakesgives them the urge to perform better and without getting bored ofthe same activity they do every day of the business. He alsoexplained that high performance creates a step for career developmentfor the employee in the organization. Therefore, performance improvesproductivity and can result in a highly performing worker beingrewarded with salary increase, promotion, training or recognitionamong others.

Essentially,my interviewee offered insightful ideas and notions concerningmotivation, ethical leadership and performance. I believe that hisperspective would be helpful to students and other employees on howto avoid boring work environment. The ideas of Smith would assistothers improve and enhance productivity at work by working diligentlybased on dignity and honesty. An honest and reliable person wouldalways uphold ethical standards without engaging in matters thatwould be deemed immoral or unethical in the society. Exceptionalleaders seek measures that motivate them and their colleagues as ameans of enhancing productivity. Therefore, a good leader is one thatis often engages with his employees, supports creativity and seeksways to make the workplace interesting as a way of retaining andencouraging workers. As such, I enjoyed carrying out the interviewbecause it helped teach me a lot about employee motivation,performance, and ethical leadership.


Bolden,R. and Gosling, J. (2006). LeadershipCompetencies: Time to Change the Tune?Sage Journals, 2(2). !47-163.doi: 10.1177/1742715006062932.

Charan,R., Drotter, S. J., &amp Noel, J. L. (2011). Theleadership pipeline: How to build the leadership powered company.San Francisco, Calif: Jossey-Bass.

Drotter,S. (2011). ThePerformance Pipeline: Getting the Right Performance At Every Level ofLeadership.New York: John Wiley &amp Sons.

Jordan,J. (2002). Ethical Leadership and Communication. Ethicalleadership,64.

Mihelic,K., Lipicnik, B., &amp Tekavcic, M. (2010). Ethical Leadership.InternationalJournal of Management &amp Information Systems (IJMIS), 14(5).doi: