Responsible leadership is defined as governance or management that considers the impact of decisions on every possible stakeholder in a business environment, not just those who benefit from a given decision. Responsible leaders therefore, are leaders who don’t just seek to make as much profit as possible out of employees and consumers, they also seek to safeguard these people’s well-being and interests. Responsible leadership is courteous in nature. It is informed by ethics and upholds integrity as the most important trait a leader can exercise. Responsible leaders do not hesitate to do what’s right, even when what is right stands in conflict with what’s lucrative. Here are four important principles of responsible leadership that every leader should personify:
- Understand the Difference Between Right and Wrong:
Without a moral compass, there is no limit to the amount of damage a leader can inflict on innocent people. Based on their authority alone, leaders are always entrusted with power and resources. The more a leader is entrusted with these elements, the more important it is for said leader to be incorruptible. This can only happen if a strong sense of right and wrong exists in a leader. At the very least, every leader must have a full grasp of three ethical precepts before exercising power over others:
- Universal Moral Law.
- Statutory Codes.
- Organizational Codes of Conduct.
- Stand up for What is Right:
It’s not enough for a leader to know what’s right and what’s wrong. Leaders also need enough of a backbone to be just. They have to relentlessly fight against pressures or negative influences that goad them towards unscrupulousness. It is extremely easy, almost instinctive even, for people to abuse power selfishly. However when a leader can consistently look past personal interests and always act for the greater good, they stand a good chance of leaving an enduring legacy at the conclusion of their tenure.
- Understand who you’re Accountable To:
If responsible leadership can be compared to a house, accountability represents each and every brick of that house. Weak accountability makes for an irresponsible leader whereas strong accountability produces wise leadership. Leaders should always remember that they exist to serve. They exist to serve the consumers who rely on their products and they also exist to serve the subordinates whose collective effort endorses a leader’s authority. When a leader loses sight of this dynamic, they begin to impose unrealistic expectations on the very people who support and rely on them.
- Understand the Consequences of Transgression:
Abuse of power isn’t just a problem, it’s a betrayal. It’s a betrayal of the trust that is placed in a leader, and it always has victims. This is a fact that should exist in the consciousness of every person who calls themselves a leader, regardless of how prominent their role. When leaders break the rules, it’s more than a violation of protocol or red tape. It could end up causing financial loss, personal injury and diminished quality of life to people who don’t deserve to suffer.
20th century author and activist Helen Keller once said, “I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it is my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble.” This statement is one of the most succinct ways to describe what responsible leadership is all about. Not only do the little things matter, but paying attention to them makes a difference. Leaders who understand how to take responsibility for every facet of their mandate, not just what is glamorous, inevitably position themselves to achieve greatness. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love our many informative workshops and events listed on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.com/o/rise-programs-10789866034 Join RISE Programs any time to learn how to break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.