Ethical Leadership


Many managers and organisations believe that the quality of their leadership is better than it actually is. A key part of leadership and in particular of the development of ethical leadership is honest and skilful self-reflection. Leaders influence the overall tone of the organisation's activities by their own example. Each employee carefully considers how their own boss acts and the workplace practice is aligned accordingly - regardless of what the formal guidelines or principles state.


The better, the more skillful, and the more ethical the leadership of the organisation is, the better results throughout the organisation will be. Management and leadership either increase or erode the organisation's psychological, social and business capital. In a nutshell, ethical leadership implies the simultaneous development of productivity and well-being at work.


Some examples of ethical and unethical leadership


Awareness and the skills of reasoning


  • Ability and willingness for self-reflection, to challenge oneself and to develop personally. (cf. does not recognise own behaviour and its consequences, a know-it-all attitude, unwillingness to develop personally and to learn new things)
  • Ability and willingness to perceive and organise as well as share responsibility for logical entities, the ability to see the wood rather than the trees, to lead strategically (cf. getting lost in detail, focuses on operational fine-tuning, not seeing the whole, keeping everything to oneself).
  • Being familiar with and understanding the cost factors of the industry (cf. does not understand what the different functional solutions cost in terms of maintenance and upgrades).


Moral imagination


  • The ability to look at management situations from more than one point of view and to understand the complex consequences of different decision options (cf. pushing through a narrow-sighted default solution, without analysing its consequences).


Own values and consistency


  • Recognising one’s personal values, communicating and leading by them (cf. unaware of personal values, confusing and inconsistent value base, illogical leadership style).



  • Willingness and ability to lead courageously in collaboration, honestly and with a responsible approach, listen to people and their everyday concerns (cf. playing solo, not listening to others, lying).
  • Willingness and ability to act in alignment with company principles even when quick wins are tempting (cf. goes after low hanging fruit even if it risks the reputation of the whole organisation)
  • An ability and willingness to ensure the smooth flow of information, a positive attitude and understanding of the digital solutions (cf. not ensuring the flow of information within the organisation, being secretive, not wanting to use and promote the use of digital tools and services).



  • The ability and willingness to take advantage of the organisation's systems and their potential (cf. not being able or willing to make use of statistics or acting according to the management system).
  • Leads with courage even though it feels intimidating at times (cf. leads only pleasurable activities).


As you begin to develop your ethical leadership competence, your entire leadership capacity grows. Strengthened leadership competence throughout the organisation support its development towards a more reliable, more coherent and more transparent organisation.


The development of ethical leadership is ideal for organisations that want to develop their leadership, strengthen customer satisfaction and risk management, as well as to improve productivity.


We want to design the leadership development program you need for your management team as well as middle and line management. We also provide business and executive coaching programs for you in accordance with your own needs including the evaluation of results. For those who want to take a leap, we offer our premium management programme, Operation Juuriharja.




Download the Quick Guide on Ethical Leadership