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Ethical leadership

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Ethical leadership is leadership that is guided by values which respects the dignity of all and desires the greater good. These values permeate inter-personal and professional relations and affirm the humanity of those encountered.

Evidence of ethical leadership can be seen in some of the consequences of decisions and choices made by an institution. The consequences of inclusive design and practices for people living with disabilities are borne out in the positive impact this has on the lives of everyone associated with the institutions. Allow me to illustrate using the diagram on the screen.

Ethics word cloud

With ethical practice at its core, there is respect for the law when the law protects and respects all. While ethics are moral obligations, laws are binding and operationalised within a legal and justice system. There are clear areas of right and wrong guided by conscience. There is fairness in decision making. Integrity rests at the core of professional practice. This co-exists with a keen sense of justice. Ethical leadership understands that complexity of context requires clarity on what is just, right and wrong, especially during crisis or contested decision-making processes. Sensitivity and understanding of context is very important in the application of ethics.

It is crucial to understand the nuances within which societal norms are played out, the power relations and dynamics vested in these norms. Therefore, information from diverse astute sources is key. Another key issue related to ethical practice is an awareness that decisions and actions have consequences and a careful weighing up of these, holding the principle of ”do no harm” as an evaluative tool.

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