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Leadership Ethics, By Lamar Odom Essay

1306 words - 6 pages

Leadership ethics by Lamar Odom that basically examines whether doing the right thing is enough in leadership. The author examines this issue given that the behavior of leaders has been one of the most intriguing issues in today’s society and in order to provide insights on ethics in leadership. The title of the book provokes deeper thoughts in the minds of leaders even before they open the book to commence reading. The author of this book is a leadership and ethic consultant who has not only taught numerous courses but also carried out several trainings on this intriguing topic. Professor Odom developed interest in examining this issue following the cliché answers he received from ...view middle of the document...

The inclusion of other aspects in his description is attributed to the fact that leaders usually have challenges in accomplish the simple ultimate goal of doing the right thing when faced with ethical dilemmas. While he recognizes that doing the right thing may be difficult for leaders at certain times, Dr Odom states that leaders must ensure that they do not use unethical means to accomplish an ethical objective. This implies that the end, which is to do the right thing, does not always justify the means since the process and the outcome must both be ethical.
This is followed by an evaluation of common ethical paradigms and reasons leaders fail to act ethically. In his evaluation of common ethical paradigms, Dr Odom demonstrates few examples of complex ethical challenges that require more than just doing the right thing. Even though he does not advocate for the use of unethical procedures, the author shows that there are numerous ethical challenges that may not be easily addressed through the application of the principle of doing the right thing, which is usually used to define leadership ethics. This implies that the process of accomplishing the right thing is equally important as the goal of doing the right thing (Odom, 2010, p.12).
With regards to why leaders fail to act ethically, Dr Odom begins with an evaluation of the impact leaders have on their followers when they do not follow ethical procedures. The main impact these leaders have is that they make their followers to lose confidence in their ability to carry out the mission of the group or organization. Actually, the leader is likely to experience a leadership crisis when followers lose their trust in him/her and his/her effectiveness is relatively diminished. After evaluating several historical examples of leaders who failed to act ethically, the author concludes that leaders fail to act ethically because of abuse or misuse of their powers in the group or organization.
Throughout the book, Professor Odom highlights the problem with doing the right thing, which is usually a cliché answer the question of ethics in leadership. The problem with this concept is that it requires leaders to embrace a certain way of thinking and to use ethical strategies that will enhance their reasoning through complex ethical situations. While it is indeed true that leaders should engage ethical reasoning when facing such situations, such reasoning cannot be taught and may be inappropriate in some situations. In some cases, what seems to be the right thing based on ethical reasoning may be the unsuitable course of action when examined properly (Odom, 2010, p.60). In addition, doing the right thing is an insufficient response to the question of ethics in leadership because it creates an impression that resolving complex ethical challenges is a simple thing.
Dr Odom also examines whether ethical reasoning and ethics training is important in light of the problem with the principle of...

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