What’s an Ethical Leader and Their Challenges?

SOCW 6070 wk 6 responses: Responding to 2 peers posts separately please put peer name at the beginning

Respond to at least two colleagues in at least one of the following ways:

Provide an example of an individual who exhibited an ethical leadership characteristic your colleague has described.

Provide an example of a leader who effectively faced one of the challenges to ethical leadership that your colleague has described.

Peer 1

Jasmine Dixon 

RE: Discussion 2 – Week 6

Definition of Ethical Leadership

In regard to leadership, ethics has to do with what leaders do and who leaders are. It is concerned with the nature of leaders’ behavior, and with their virtuousness. In any decision-making situation, ethical issues are either implicitly or explicitly involved. The choices leaders make and how they respond in a given circumstance are informed and directed by their ethics (Northouse, 2013). Through this definition in our text, it is my understanding that ethical leadership may take form in several areas of a leadership from their style of leadership, behavior towards followers and clients, personality, and their demeanor. Several theories are mentioned throughout the text of leadership ethical standards and how they are carried out in certain situations when addressing circumstances, such as serving in the best interest of others, making decisions to maximize their business or organization, morally behaving in a manner to maximize social benefits.

What’s an Ethical Leader and Their Challenges?

To be an ethical leader is to serve others, provide justice and fairness, through their decision making and roles within an organization. Ethical leaders motivate others through their behaviors to continue working towards similar goals within an organization. Ethical leaders are honest and trustworthy.

Challenges that could arise during situations where the leader must make ethical decisions and the circumstances that follow them. This could reflect either positive or negatively. The decisions made could result in losing the interest or support of certain staff members, stakeholders, or the public as well. Leaders may also face integrity challenges when approached to make a certain decision that’s promoted through favors, bribery, or monetary donations. Having the ability to turn away those incentives are professional ethical standards the leader must uphold despite their personal beliefs of the circumstances.


Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications

Peer 2

larry harris 

RE: Discussion 2 – Week 6

My definition of ethical leadership as it pertains to social work is doing the right thing even when no one pays attention. Using the code of ethics as a guide can help using ethical leadership. The preamble states, “The primary mission of the social work profession is to enhance human well-being and help meet the basic human needs of all people, with particular attention to the needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable, oppressed, and living in poverty (NASW, 2017).” According to Northouse (2013), ethics is at the center of leadership in that leaders have great influence, engages followers in accomplishing mutual goals, and impact leaders on the organization’s values. The social work profession’s values align with ethical leadership: respect, service, justice, honesty, and community (Northouse,2013). 

What it means to be an ethical leader is to take the principles of ethical leadership: respect, service, justice, honesty, and community and apply them to leadership roles. Ethics is what leaders do and who they are (Northouse, 2013). Leadership is about the actions of leaders and who they are as people. 

The challenge of being an ethical leader is everyone is not going to agree with the decisions of the leaders. Another challenge is being faithful to his or her own leadership values (Northouse, 2021). 

Northouse, P.G. (2013). Leadership: Theory and Practice (6th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage Publications

Northouse, P. G. (2021). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Sage.

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