By Linda Fisher Thornton
When we think about ethical leadership as a performance system, we get a higher level view of what it takes to develop ethical leaders. This graphic shows what an integrated ethical leadership performance management system might look like (EL refers to ethical leadership).
The components of an ethical leadership performance management system are mutually reinforcing and must be closely aligned. If just one element shown on this graphic is missing, then the rest of the components will not work effectively. For example, clear communication about expected ethical behavior is important, but it isn’t likely to lead to ethical behavior unless you also holding people accountable for meeting the expectations.
An integrated system has:
- positive role models
- ongoing conversation
- learning and practice
- accountability, and
- positive, proactive performance management
In Talking Values LRN: Bringing a “Pull” approach to Ethics and Compliance, Michael Bramnick shares his insights about “‘pull’ approaches to compliance that make training, codes of conduct, and related processes meaningful to employees.” Pull approaches give employees a positive reason to engage in ethical behavior, rather than relying on punishments or reprimands. They support employee engagement in the direction of the ethical leadership we expect. They add positive power to the whole performance system.
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