Leaders make critical decisions between right, wrong, and the lesser of two evils every day. These decisions can affect the person making the decision, their employees, and goals of the organization. There are many readings that describe ethics and leadership, but ethical leadership is basically knowing your inner values and having the courage to steadfastly live by them for the purpose of the common good. Southwestern College's Master of Science in Leadership program has given me a firm understanding of how important ethical reasoning is and how it impacts, good and bad, an organization.
My first artifact, LEAD505 Leadership and Ethics Assignment explains that there's a strong relationship between good leadership and ethics. Since many organizational leadership decisions are inherently difficult to make, it is impossible to have effective leaders without an ethical underpinning. As noted by Ciulla (2004) there's been examples in which corporate leadership has had a number of ethical short-comings in recent years, ranging from Enron to WorldCom. My opportunity to learn the lessons of these ethical failures has allowed me to witness how devastating of an affect they have on an organization. Although I will always try to lean on my core values to guide me to the best possible decision, I know that there will be times I will be forced to choose between two unfavorable choices.
In the course of my duties I'm certain I will be forced to choose between alternatives that are both unfavorable in some way, which is referred to as an ethical dilemma (Ferrerll et al., 2008). When this occurs, I know I must first identify what the ethical dilemma actually is before I can proceed to a sound decision. Once I've firmly interpreted what the ethical dilemma is, I can then analyze all the factors that relate to the dilemma. There many ethical dilemmas factors, a couple include pressure to turn a blind eye to ethically questionable practices and overly ambitious to do unethical acts. Once I have considered all of the consequences of each possible decision, including the best and worst outcomes of my decision, I should then be able to make a decision that I am most comfortable with the outcome.
My second artifact, LEAD505 Ethical Decision Making Assignment is significant because it contributes towards understanding that I may never truly feel comfortable with a specific outcome of a tough ethical decision. Is it ever really ethical to move-forward with the mindset of the ends justifying the means? For example, during my leadership studies I was able to understand that President Truman was forced to make one of the most difficult decisions in human history; end World War II with a significant number of civilian casualties or to continue the war for an indeterminate amount of time. The result of the atomic bomb...