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A Guide to Being a Leader in Ethical Business After Your Executive MBA

February 11, 2020

Tools to become a successful leader who inspires integrity

Picture of an executive mba graduate
Obtain the tools to become a successful leader from a Global MBA program.

Volkswagen recently decided to reduce costs through a no-layoff policy. This may appear to be counter-intuitive, but according to The Harvard Business Review, the job performance of workers retained after others are laid off tends to decrease by 20%. Furthermore, profitability has been shown to decline while the likelihood of bankruptcy increases after cost-cutting layoffs.

This 10-year no-layoff policy, during which retiring workers will not be replaced, is an example of how aligning corporate decisions with ethical integrity and respect for workers makes good business sense. It also shows that it is up to the global leaders of today to maintain a standard of integrity and sound ethical practices, which can in turn benefit bottom lines. In order to do this, you must align your behavior and actions with your beliefs. Consider the following points as you envision the next steps for your career.  

Model Ethics in Your Leadership

If you are interested in bolstering your business experience with executive MBA courses, then examining your leadership practices will also be important. The fundamental component of being a leader in ethical business is to set an example because the behavior of managers and corporate executives affects the behavior of their teams.

Picture of a group of executive mba graduates
It is up to leaders to create an environment that fosters mutual respect and ethical behavior.

When your team has an ethical example to follow, they will be encouraged to approach their work with the same standard of integrity. Furthermore, with ethical leadership, your business will attract better talent. Whether you have a high public profile or not, ethical business practice starts at the top because the success of your team is a reflection of your leadership skills.

Involve Your Team in Business Decisions

In 2018, Forbes reported that a study in the U.K. found that a company’s ethical values have become more important to consumers under 30. It is therefore necessary to consider ethics for every aspect of business operations. Ethical considerations add another layer of complexity to business strategy, which means that the input of multiple perspectives is integral to making good decisions.

Strong leadership involves self-reflection and a willingness to hear other perspectives. If you want to create an environment in which employees are comfortable raising ethical issues, this is something you will have the opportunity to practice during an executive MBA. You will network with a diverse group of business leaders and be exposed to many different perspectives as you grow your network. You will be able to see that a leader who takes an ethical approach will inspire their team to create innovative strategies. This will increase consumer appreciation and produce more sustainable business practices.

Be Proactive After Your Global MBA Program

European CEO pointed out that “one shouldn’t assume that a lack of whistleblowers is an indication of good ethical practices.” In addition to leading by example and encouraging teams to use ethics as a springboard for strategizing, leaders must be proactive in creating ethical work environments and ensuring that corporate values are reflected at all levels of business.

people with an executive mba sitting in a meeting
Create learning opportunities to support the development of ethical business practices.

Similar to other parts of business operations, maintaining an ethical business takes action. From hiring considerations to onboarding procedures to marketing strategies, an executive with integrity will take a multi-faceted and active approach to ethical leadership. Being proactive means communicating ethical standards clearly and providing opportunities to discuss ethical issues. This way you and your team are always on the same path striving for excellence.

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