Ethical Leadership Behavior – Nu Leadership Series

Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations. The sin is limitations. As soon as you once come up to a man’s limitations, it is all over with him.


Many people wonder about the trends of unethical conduct by today’s leaders. Obviously, some executives and government officials have not upheld the standards of their positions by not stopping the unethical behavior among their peers.

If an observer was to review past leaders’ conduct, one would be able to appreciate the ethics involved for 21st century organizations. There are still problems to solve and challenges to discover. As people continue to be hired or elected in order to gain power for the wrong reasons, society will continue to see unethical conduct. However, people must expect high standards from today’s leaders and never compromise their own principles in the process.

Organizations can be most effective when they build their organizations around shared values. However, leaders must buy-in and become value advocates. Leaders must model the way, and they must demand proper ethical behaviors from their peers. This can be clearly understood from a biblical context. 1 Corinthians 15:33 reads, “Don’t fool yourselves. Bad friends will destroy you.” People, especially leaders, need to pick their friends and associates carefully.

President Harry Truman said, “Men make history, and not the other way around. In periods where there is no leadership, society stands still. Progress occurs when courageous, skillful leaders seize the opportunity to change things for the better.”
Therefore, it is important that leaders align themselves with the right people.

Just as God provided Adam the instructions to lead humanity, leaders must provide a blueprint for greater ethical conduct for others. Therefore, this responsibility is in the hands of today’s leaders’ hands.


Ciulla, J.B. (1998). Ethics: The Heart of Leadership. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Heuser, B. (2005). The Ethics of Social Cohesion. Peabody Journal of Education. 80(4), pp.8-15.

Kern, C. (2003). Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Workplace Culture, Pepperdine University.

King, S. (2006). The Moral Manager. Public Integrity. 8(2), pp.113-133.

© 2007 by Daryl D. Green