The Info: Best books for ethical leadership

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The Info: Best books for ethical leadership

Booktopia’s Sarah McDuling reflects upon ethical leadership – and cherry-picks the best books for further reading.

 

At a glance ethical leadership may seem simple enough. By any interpretation, an ethical leader is a good leader. Integrity, justice, compassion and respect are values that must logically lie at the core of any conversation about leadership and ethics. Ethics are, after all, the moral principles that govern a person’s behaviour. To behave ethically is essentially to know and to do what is right.

However, authentic ethical leadership involves more than simply identifying and pursuing a list of core values. It requires a framework based on communication, action and trust.

Values-based leadership creates a working environment where employees feel secure. It fosters a sense of pride among colleagues – which boosts staff performance, retention and morale. Put simply, people who trust their leaders are happier, more productive and more successful.

While transparency and clear communication are core elements of ethical leadership, perhaps the most important is action – or ‘leading by example’. This can be done by aligning systems and processes to promote ethical reasoning, independence of thought, listening, flexibility and resilience. Without these processes in place, a leader may fail to walk the talk. Inspirational speeches are worthless if they aren’t backed up by action.

Ethical leaders are very rarely born, ready-made. They develop via a combination of training, learning and innovative thinking. With that in mind, I have chosen the books in this reading list to guide and inspire you to be the most ethical (and therefore most effective) leader you can be.

 

Recommended reading: Ethics and leadership

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP:

CONSCIOUS BUSINESS: HOW TO BUILD VALUE THROUGH VALUES

By Fred Kofman

 

TREATING PEOPLE WELL: HOW TO MASTER SOCIAL SKILLS TO THRIVE IN EVERYTHING YOU DO

By Lea Berman, Jeremy Bernard and Laura Bush

 

ETHICAL LEADERSHIP: CREATING AND SUSTAINING AN ETHICAL BUSINESS CULTURE

By Andrew Leigh

 

THE THOUGHTFUL LEADER: HOW TO USE YOUR HEAD AND YOUR HEART TO INSPIRE OTHERS

By Mindy Gibbins-Klein

 

THE POWER OF ETHICS: THE THOUGHTFUL LEADER’S MODEL FOR SUSTAINABLE COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

By Pete Geissler and Bill O’Rourke

 

THE ETHICAL LEADER: WHY DOING THE RIGHT THING CAN BE THE KEY TO COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

By Morgen Witzel

 

SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

FORCES FOR GOOD: CREATING A BETTER WORLD THROUGH PURPOSE-DRIVEN BUSINESSES

By Paul Hargreaves

 

HUMANE CAPITAL: HOW TO CREATE A MANAGEMENT SHIFT TO TRANSFORM PERFORMANCE AND PROFIT

By Vlatka Hlupic

 

LEAN IMPACT: HOW TO INNOVATE FOR RADICALLY GREATER SOCIAL GOOD

By Ann Mei Chang

 

PURPOSEFUL PROFITS: INSIDE SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES MAKING A POSITIVE GLOBAL IMPACT

By Joanne Sonenshine

 

SOCIAL MOVEMENTS FOR GOOD: HOW COMPANIES AND CAUSES CREATE VIRAL CHANGE

By Derrick Feldmann

 

THE ETHICAL CAPITALIST: HOW TO MAKE BUSINESS WORK BETTER FOR SOCIETY

By Julian Richer

 

AVAILABLE FROM BOOKTOPIA | Find out more about all these books, and order them online at booktopia.com.au.

 


This article originally appeared in the September 2019 print edition of Leadership Matters, IML ANZ’s quarterly magazine. For editorial suggestions and enquiries, please contact karyl.estrella@managersandleaders.com.au.

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