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Ethical Leadership

Lead like a Pro by Learning the Core Fundamentals of Great, Ethical Leadership in this Free Online Course.

Publisher: Saylor Academy
In this free online course, you'll study the tried and tested traits of good leadership, ranging from honesty, moral courage and vision to creative thinking and selflessness. We'll also explore why these leadership elements frequently overlap with the classical ideals of virtuous leadership. If you'd like to be more methodical in your leadership practices or better understand successful leadership, look no further than this course.
Ethical Leadership
  • Duration

    1.5-3 Hours
  • Students

  • Accreditation


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In this free online course, we will explore nine traits that some might describe as essential qualities for good leadership: (1) honesty, (2) moral courage and vision, (3) compassion, (4) fairness, (5) intellectual excellence and willingness to listen to others, (6) creative thinking, (7) aesthetic sensitivity, (8) good timing and (9) selflessness. While the attributes mentioned above frequently overlap with the classical ideals of virtuous leadership, the correlation is not always that clear. Working through each of these traits, we will identify links of each of these virtues with the most appropriate classical virtues described by Plato and Aristotle.

We will cover all the ethical leadership principles mentioned above in three modules. In the first module, titled "What Followers Want from Their Leaders", we explore how employees consider honesty an essential attribute of the leaders they follow. Leaders face various moral and ethical dilemmas, and in the course material, honesty in leaders is defined as "truthfulness, fairness in dealing with others, and a refusal to engage in fraud, deceit, or dissembling". Followers respect leaders who are honest with them and express honesty in every action. As we dig deeper into the principles of ethical leadership, we'll look at the four main character traits followers desire from their leaders. Do you think partnership is more integral than productivity? How does honesty promote partnership? The course material returns to partnership and elements of fostering human flourishing. How do the concepts of partnership and promoting the wellbeing of others advance human flourishing for everyone involved? The second module of this course, titled "Developing Compassionate Leadership in Health Care: An Integrative Review", will enable you to explain why compassionate leadership. In this module, look at why it's essential in the healthcare field. But this approach of compassionate leadership is vital regardless of your line of work, and we'll get to the bottom of effective and universal leadership skills. Another highlight in this module is the author's discussion of servant-leadership and the paradigm shifts required to succeed in this regard.

In the third module, "The Value of Listening", we study how good and virtuous leaders are open-minded, intellectually curious, and have a desire to learn. We will discover how and why they are willing and able to listen to others. These leaders value their co-workers and associates' opinions and are concerned about their happiness. The course material will highlight how and why these leaders do not dismiss or disregard others' ideas and values or exclusively favour their own expertise or opinions. This model will highlight why considering alternative views and perspectives helps us recognize the biases and stereotypes that may cloud our judgment or lead to faulty conclusions and decisions. Plato and Aristotle believed pride poses a significant danger to ourselves and those around us. Virtuous leaders should show humility. We can link our concept of fairness most closely with the classical ideals of justice, wisdom, and moderation. Whether you're a leader or a follower, this course will equip you with essential theory and insights to better understand leadership. Sign up now to improve your leadership knowledge and skills!

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