Individuals have their own different definitions of what ethics entails. However, one thing that all these definitions have in common is that, ethics deals with knowing what is right or wrong. Ethics can be defined as the body of cognition that is responsible for the study of worldwide rationales that determine right from wrong. Many people are inclined to thinking that ethics revolves around their feelings; what they feel is right or wrong. However, this is not the case. Individuals have their own perception regarding particular scenarios or subject. As a result, one’s feelings may deviate from what is ethical. The main purpose of ethical conduct is to govern and guide one’s behavior. Ethical conduct increases the probability that an individual will behave accordingly in certain ways. This is achieved by partly focusing on the actions of individual characters and penalties for infringement. Ethical conduct encourages organization. Without ethical conduct people would do things in their own way based on their own moral choices, which may not be right. (Preston, 2007)
Possessing the knowledge on ethics is not enough. It is very significant for individual to evaluate their own conduct and that of other people. Evaluation of conduct involves the critical judgment of individual behavior. It serves as a gauge for progress; success and failures. Evaluation of one’s conduct can be based on two categories: formative and summative. The formative category identifies what an individual expects to achieve in a particular endeavor. The summative category investigates what has been achieved at the culmination of the program. These two categories assist in determining any deviation in ethical conduct which may result in failure of achieving the intended purpose. (Preston, 2007)
Ethics is a body of knowledge applied by different professions. Teachers, doctors, students, researchers, scientist, politicians among other individual must possess and apply the knowledge of ethics. There has been continuous emphasizes on ethics in leadership. Leadership is a broad subject. It not only pertains to political leadership, but also organizational leadership. An ethical leader can be defined as the demonstration of prescriptive appropriate conduct through individual actions and social relationships, and the advocacy of such conduct to acolytes. The current President of USA, Barack Obama is good example of a reputable ethical leader. Elected to be the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama was sworn into power on January 20, 2009. He is a charismatic and transformational leader who strictly follows ethics when dealing with other people. He is a man who has earned the respect of many individuals for his action of integrity and impartiality. Owing to his reputable character and behavior, the economy and country in general, has gradually thrived. (Finser, 2003)
Barack Obama is an autonomous minded individual possessing charismatic speaking skills. He is bent on consensus building and will not, for any reasons whatsoever compromise his values for the sake of profit or any other vested interest. Apart from possessing all these qualities and being a good leader, he is also a talented, introverted writer. He is the writer of two bestselling books. His leadership qualities and values have been strongly supplemented by his expertise as a civil rights attorney and a Constitutional Law professor, and by Christianity. Prior to his position as the President, he served 7 years as Illinois State Senator. Barack Obama also worked as community organizer.
Ethics refers to the well established touchstone or reference on what is right or wrong. These standards determine what individuals ought to do. It also refers to the study and growth of an individual’s ethical standards. One’s feelings, laws, and social norms may vary from what is ethical. As a result it is necessary and mandatory to regularly analyze one’s standards to ascertain that they are resolved and well established. In order for an individual to be regarded as ethical, it takes much more effort than just studying ethics. One has to apply the knowledge acquired. The study of ethics is very significant. This is so because, almost every profession, organization and entity applies ethics in achieving set objectives. Societies have their own definition on what is right or wrong. Equipping oneself with the knowledge of ethics serves as a stepping stone towards better relation with individuals. (Preston, 2007)
Ethics serves as a road map on how individuals should conduct themselves. For example ethics imposes obligations that refrain individuals from indulging in vices. Currently, there are many vices in our society today. For instance rape, fraud, theft, slander, murders are just a few of the many vices some individuals engage in. Some individuals will engage in such vices since they have inadequate or no information regarding what is ethical. Others possess the knowledge on ethics but for various reasons, they choose to be ignorant of what they already know. The study of ethics is very significant in an individual’s lifetime. Although ethical knowledge may be learnt from our seniors, the study of ethics gives individual detailed information on what is right or wrong in the society. ( Millar & Poole, 2003)
Millar, C., & Poole, E. (2011). Ethical Leadership: Global Challenges and Perspectives. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
Preston, N. (2007). Understanding Ethics. Australia: Federation Press.
Finser, T. (2003). In Search of Ethical Leadership: If not now, when? United States: SteinerBooks