My Approach to Leadership

As a leader, I choose the values and the ethics that are most important to me, the values and ethics I believe in and that define my character. I live them visibly every day at work. Living by my values is one of the most powerful tools available to me to help me lead and influence others. The best leadership is by influence. When followers know that you care, that you are competent, and you are consistent, the “loyalty” effect comes in to play.

Ethical leadership does impact employee relations. When supervisors were seen as less ethical, their employees feel less confident in their ability to resolve conflicts with peers. Further, employees lacking this confidence reported experiencing more conflicts with coworkers. Leaders who take ethical short- cuts may not only be compromising the local community through their behaviors they may be undermining their own efforts by destabilizing their organizations internally. In practice, consultants, coaches and other practitioners working within organizations should be on the lookout for these types of dynamics, and be prepared to discuss with leaders the possible unintended consequences of taking ethical short cuts.

I agree with Sutton’s article and his rules are still applicable to current work environments where creativity is a must. If you have talented employees then you should do something with it. If it’s creativity you want, you should encourage people to ignore and defy superiors and peers. You should reassign people who have settled into productive grooves in their jobs. And you should start rewarding failure, not just success. Creativity results from action. Creativity is a function of the quantity of work produced. Measuring whether people are doing something or nothing is one of the ways to assess the performance of people who do creative work Sutton (2002).

Reading this week on ethical issues certainly will help me in my work and in my future research if I have contact with human subjects. Now I know how important it is not to offer an ideology, or a big lie, to justify the use of any means to achieve the seemingly desirable, essential goal. In social psychology experiments, this tactic is known as the “cover story” because it is a cover-up for the procedures that follow, which might be challenged because they do not make sense on their own. Most nations rely on an ideology, typically, “threats to national security,” before going to war or to suppress dissident political opposition. When citizens fear that their national security is being threatened, they become willing to surrender their basic freedoms to a government that offers them that exchange. A good way to avoid crimes of obedience is to assert one’s personal authority and always take full responsibility for one’s actions Zimbardo (2007).


Sutton, R. (2002). Weird Rules of Creativity – Think You Manage Creativity? Here’s Why You’re Wrong .Retrieved from

Zimbardo, P. G. (2007). Investigating social dynamics: Power, conformity and obedience. In The Lucifer effect: Understanding how good people turn evil (pp. 258-292). New York: Random House.


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