By Linda Fisher Thornton
There have been many stories about unethical CEOs in the news, but not as many about the good ones. That’s a shame, because the ethical CEO is a positive powerhouse – devoted to serving employees, customers, and communities. I thought it would be helpful to describe some of the critical functions of the ethical CEO that enable organizational success. Intentionally investing in these roles creates the kind of workplaces that attract top employees and devoted customers.
Critical Roles of the (Ethical) CEO
Ethical Leadership Role Model
High Level Trust-Builder
Champion For Ethical Values
Ethical Prevention Advocate
Highest Leader Accountable For Ethics
Accountability Consistency Monitor
Ethics Dialogue Leader
Ethical Decision-Making Coach
Ethical Culture Builder
There are many other things that CEOs do besides the roles listed here, but these are particularly important for creating ethical high-trust cultures. The ethical CEO knows these roles should never be ignored when other pressures loom. The reason? Investing in these roles every day (while doing other things) greatly reduces the need for handling crises later.
Ethical CEOs know that ethical prevention, open dialogue and intentional trust-building are keys that unlock great organizational performance. Besides that, it’s much easier to help leaders wrestle with ethical problems in real-time than it is to clean up messes when there is a visible ethical mistake.
Don’t leave organizational ethics to chance. Ethical cultures need these roles, and the best ethical CEOs tackle them earnestly. Are these roles included in the CEO’s job description in your organization?
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