How you handle the responsibilities you have marks out as the type of leader you will become. And having high ethical standards is crucial, for business leaders rank it as their number 1 competency.
There are five components to showing leadership on ethics, one of which is setting a personal example. There’s no point setting an ethical vision for the firm if you yourself are not prepared to lead on it by example. If you don’t, then others will take your cue and not bother either. Cue end of ethical vision.
Now you may think that setting a personal example involves little more than being the good person you know you are. Unfortunately, much more is needed. Take this finding from research in 2013. 80% of UK workers didn’t think that their manager set a ‘good moral standard’.
What this tells us is that executives and managers are either not setting a personal example, or as is more likely, they’re not setting a personal example that is strong enough, clear enough or consistent enough to be picked up by the people who work with them.
I’m going to set out the steps that everyone can take in order to deliver, in ethical terms, a better personal example. And I’ve organised them under those three headings of ‘strong enough, clear enough and consistent enough’.
To learn about leadership on ethics, check out the free guide: ' Your Road Map to Leadership on Ethics' (see 'Guides' in top menu)
Duncan is the founder of the Ethics and Insurance blog and the author of its many posts. He's a Chartered Insurance Practitioner, having worked 18 years in the UK market. As an adviser to many firms on ethics issues, as well as a regular conference speaker, he is one of the leading voices on ethics and insurance.