To some, ethics, character, and the concept of moral intelligence seems old-fashioned.  Some leaders believe if they don’t cut corners, bend the rules, or shade the truth, they might miss opportunities.

I believe effective leaders need to build their reputation on an ethical foundation.

When the economy gets tough and it gets harder and harder to hit the numbers, sometimes ethics get a little sloppy.  The key to professional success is to display ethical conduct in all things.  Visit to read the entire newsletter.

Effective leaders are known for their character; demonstrating ethical behavior that supports trust, earns respect, and exudes credibility.  Character involves two qualities:  honesty and impartiality.  Honesty demonstrates truthfulness.  Impartiality demonstrates fairness. Character is to do the right thing.  Credibility is a valuable commodity and credibility refers to the believability of the leader.

Sometimes it is easy to recognize unethical behaviors such as withholding information, deliberately distorting information, being coercive, or flat-out lying.  Sometimes the unethical behavior is subtle and mildly manipulative.  Ethical leaders are never involved in shady business schemes or shady activities.  Because once a reputation is tarnished, it will never be the same.

It is vital that leaders have clear policies and take consistent actions when policies are violated.

Bethe leader that colors within the lines, walks the straight and narrow, and walks the talk.  Sounds like “good” business.

It is difficult to follow a leader that is not trustworthy.  It is a waste of emotional energy to wonder if the boss really means it, this time.  Character builds confidence in all relationships.  Guiding principles provide staff clear direction on what to do and how to do.  Ethics and effective leadership go hand in hand.

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If you need a keynote speaker, plenary speaker, breakout speaker, concurrent session speaker, seminar leader, or workshop facilitator who can deliver in-person, virtually, or via prerecorded session, Kit Welchlin, M.A., CSP, CVP, is a nationally recognized professional motivational speaker and author and can be found at or