We are living in an era where moral leadership is paramount to the success of businesses, schools, churches and a host of other institutions. What is moral leadership? It can be defined as “the desire, ability and efforts to influence the world around us, based upon an ethic of care for self and others and fueled by a vision that one sustains over time.” Successful businesses seek moral leadership as well as communal leadership that draws on each team member’s gifts and helps each member grow in ways that benefit both the individual and the group.
In the Bible, the Lord uses salt and light as images to describe the differences between bad and good leadership. Bad leadership is expressed as salt that has lost its usefulness. The Lord said, “you are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out.”
For good leadership, he describes leaders who are the light of the world. “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to God.”
How do you view yourself as a leader? We are all leaders in certain ways and our desire to champion those who are less fortunate contributes to our moral leadership ability as does being caring and compassionate. Only moral leaders can build trust, inspire colleagues, create meaning or help people imagine a different and better future—or in other words, inspire them to do the next right thing.
Practitioners and scholars of leadership point to five key principles of moral and ethical leadership: honesty, justice, respect, community and integrity. To be successful, leaders must possess these five attributes.
Mark Twain said that “it is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare.” So, as we approach our new normal of getting back to how we socialize with others, remember that moral leadership makes for the best in all humanity. Never Give Up! Never Give Up! Never Give Up!