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Businesses cannot and do not operate themselves. It takes individuals that have the essential qualities and characteristics of leaders to help a business be successful and grow. Leaders must be innovative, influential, driven, professional, respectful, compassionate, and, most of all, possess strong morals and values. When leaders take on a self-serving, egotistical attitude, it distorts their morals, values, and professional judgment. I would describe it in comparison to cancerous cells. A once moral and upright individual allows internal or external factors influence them to make a small decision to act in an unethically manner. If it is not addressed timely (treated), then it has the potential to multiply and grow into a large “tumor” of a problem that “infects” others areas. We have learned that the tone of a company is set by the leaders/top management. Their unethical behavior has the tendency to “infect” others within the company to behave in a similar fashion which promotes an unethical culture for the company.
The qualities of a leader such as being an innovator, strategist, or intelligent cannot stand alone in making a leader a great and successful leader. Leaders must first possess the six pillars of character: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship in order to be both effective and successful in their role. A leader’s behavior is shaped by these core ethical values. Leaders must be willing to take on a “moral point of view” that requires them to make a decision that may not always be in their best interest, but in the best interest of the stakeholders. They must take on a servant’s attitude and lead by example. A leader should never use their power or authority over an individual to influence the outcome of a situation. They should always be willing to listen and quick to admit wrongdoing. Possessing a cognitive dissonance is also essential for leaders. All of these behaviors are important to ensure that an individual does not fail as a leader.”