Meeting The Ethical Challenges Of Leadership Case Study

1512 Words 6 Pages
In Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership: Casting Light or Shadow, Johnson (2012) gives an overview of ethics, ethical decision-making, moral leadership processes and group and organizational dynamics. It is a very well organized book that provides reflective exercises and case studies throughout the reading. The author portrays leaders as either casting shadows or light. Shadows represent harm or destructive behavior and light expresses benefit and positivity. Those leaders that cast shadows are ineffective and/or unethical. All leaders face dilemmas involving “issues of power, privilege, information, consistency, loyalty and responsibility” (Johnson, 2012, p. 7). It is how leaders handle those dilemmas that determine whether …show more content…
Adopting ethical approaches can provide a toolset for leaders to use in the challenges they face. Approaches include doctrines such as “attempting to do the greatest good for the greatest number of people” (Johnson, 2012, p. 154), “do what is morally right no matter the consequences” (Johnson, 2012, p. 158), everyone is entitled to the same basic rights and opportunities, concern for the common good, and always putting others first. Johnson discusses that leaders can also review and adopt a leadership styles to help them remove shadows. Styles include a transformation leadership that seeks “higher ethical standards and performance” (Johnson, 2012, p. 193), servant leadership that puts “the needs of followers before their own” (Johnson, 2012, p. 200), authentic leadership that relies on strength in their core values and beliefs, responsible leadership that is “building ethical relationships with stakeholders” (Johnson, 2012, p. 214) or Taoist leadership style that follows the motto “leave well enough alone” (Johnson, 2012, p. 219). Leaders must understand the advantages and disadvantages of each approach. Each decision a leader makes must be deliberate and with the understanding of why they have chosen the path they follow. Leaders can prepare to choose the path of light by increasing their sensitivity to potential ethical issues by exercising and …show more content…
He provides a variety of toolsets for leaders to review and assess without directing us to one “fix all” solution. With reviewing multiple approaches and case studies, Johnson reinforces mental modeling and continuous development. In all approaches, Johnson (2012) discusses not only the advantages but also the disadvantages leaders must be aware of. As society and issues change, continuous development is critical. In reviewing previous version of his book, Johnson (2012) is continually improving his message and making the case studies more relevant to today’s reader. Although the book does not have a religious tone, it does include a brief review of the impact of religion on leaders, followers and society. Most leadership books stay clear of religion although it is a critical factor in leadership and in particular, ethical leadership. Religion is not only a factor for the ethical leaders themselves, they must also be cognizant of the impact on their team and organization. The case studies and examples provided were well selected and very relevant to the topics discussed. I would have preferred contrasting case studies for topics developed to further reinforce the variety of situations leaders must

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