Development Cooperation Handbook/Guidelines/Ethical Leadership Principles

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Ethical Leadership Principles: Promoting the Most Good for the Most People

Once a leader/manager has developed trust with employees, he/she must work at keeping it through consistency, congruity, reliability, and integrity.

  • Consistency is the ability to keep going and remain focused on the organization’s goals despite challenges and setbacks that may arise. It is easier to trust a leader who remains calm and directed when difficulties emerge.
  • Congruity refers to how well a leader’s behavior matches what he/she says. To maintain employee faith and trust, the manager/leader’s behaviors should match that what he/she says.
  • Reliability refers to what degree employees can depend on their leader/manager to support them, especially in times of need or challenge.
  • Integrity is the ability to keep promises and commitments that promote the well being of the organization and all of its stakeholders both internal and external. In other words, it takes more than keeping your word, but to not make promises that compromise the organization in the first place.


To do:

  • Always be truthful.
  • Obey the law.
  • Demonstrate trust in other people.
  • Act consistently when dealing with others.
  • Remove corrupting influences from the workplace.
  • Look for the good in others.
  • Review the organization’s code of ethics often.
  • Openly celebrate the organization’s values.
  • Listen to others with an empathic ear.
  • Call attention to unethical behavior.
  • Give credit where it is due.
  • Publicize instances of high ethical behavior