Being a boss and being a leader are two very different things.

For instance, some people might say that a boss orders their staff to do certain things, whereas a leader guides them towards a goal. As you may have gathered from the wording, the key difference is the theme. Guiding and ordering have different connotations. In a similar way, a boss may simply feel it is their job to be ‘bossy’ and a leader feels it is their role to inspire and guide their staff.

However, leader as a term and being an ethical leader can also mean different things to different people. While the majority of people will at one point in their life have had one boss who they know was unethical or simply bad, they may find it harder to identify what makes a good boss.

So, if you are looking to build on your leadership skills at work or at home but don’t know where to begin, here are 7 tips on how to become an ethical, effective leader.

  1. Invest in Training

Becoming a leader, let alone an ethical one, is not something that simply happens overnight. Some people can build up experience over several years, whereas others simply don’t have the time to do this.

This is where investing in training can play a big part in developing your leadership potential. There are many courses available, such as those that are offered by Spalding University online. Alternatively, there may be a course which you can attend at night after work, which can help you to build your leadership skills. This will help you to identify your leadership style and will also help you to build on your sense of ethics and problem-solving.

  1. Promote Open Communication

An ethical leader will acknowledge that even if all of their staff have similar values, they will inevitably have different points of view on certain things. So, if you make a decision for your company, be sure to share it with your team and accept feedback.

This will help you to become a better leader and will also help your staff to feel respected and appreciated. If your staff does not feel that their points of view are being listened to, they are more likely to report a higher level of dissatisfaction overall and may even leave.

  1. Be Diverse

In the modern workplace, there is more diversity than ever and that is great! However, in order to be an ethical leader, you need to not only be aware of this diversity but also to embrace it. Listen to the points of view of different members of your team and be aware of how your workplace can impact those who may be differently abled or those who come from different cultural backgrounds. Remember, your staff wants to feel comfortable in the workplace and as their leader or boss, it is your responsibility to ensure that this happens.

  1. Do Not Be Dismissive

Following on from that previous point, it is part of the job that at some point in your role, someone is going to say something that is insensitive to another member of your team. Do not be dismissive, as nothing is going to get a staff member to quit faster than feeling that their complaints and feelings are being pushed to one side. Of course, aim to take a balanced look at the issue at hand, but don’t brush it aside because you can’t be bothered to handle it.

  1. Lead By Example

When you are looking to be an ethical leader for an ethical company, the first thing you need to do is look to your own values and behaviors. By leading by example, your staff will (hopefully) adopt some of these mannerisms and employ them in their own working style.  Be aware, however, that you do not want an office of clones. Not everyone will have the same work flow that you have, and thus while you will want a team of effective workers, you should also be celebrating the diversity in your workplace.

  1. Be Aware of Your Shortcomings

Nobody likes to admit their mistakes or biases, but when you become a manager, you will be under the microscope more than ever. So, it will be important to reflect and be aware of your own biases and shortcomings, while also being active in overcoming them. As mentioned earlier, the workplace of 2022 is more diverse than it was 10 years ago, so if you have any shortcomings or biases, you can expect them to get called out!

  1. Care for Yourself

You cannot pour from an empty cup, and when it comes to being an ethical leader, you will need to take care of yourself in order to effectively manage your team.