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Ethical Dilemma 2: Does ends justify means?
Q1 In this current changing world, skills of leadership have become important sets of characteristics that any good leader should possess and emulate. As we are in an environment where we are agitated to control and give direction not only to our own destiny, but guide as well the destinies of our beloved families, organizations, and even communities, having an effective leadership ability is essential (Dilts, 2010). In this aspect, the most important aspect in judging a leader is by his or her actions. This is due to the fact that leadership unlike a leader or leading is more related to having a personal skills and abilities that have high degree of influence. In essence, leadership is normally defined by motivating and influencing others to do certain things which are more of action oriented than outcomes oriented. It is this influential ends that justifies the means of leadership actions.
Q2 The question of how much leadership can be due to luck raises concern of whether in our life we can be successful without being lucky or whether it is more enough to be clever and work harder in order to achieve set out goals. As a result, leadership success that is due to luck or other factors beyond a leader’s control is contributed by the kind of support a leader is able to get from the environment, the current situation he or she is, and most importantly, from people whom the leader interact with. At times, bad luck has always been associated with doing everything right yet having no results, while good luck has been encountered where we at some points do things in a wrongful manner yet we get great results. As a result, leadership success is due to luck if the leader is able to benefit from invisible factors that supported his or her actions in all situations.
For instance, the leadership success for Bill Clinton was lucky because he was able to get committed support from his loyal followers yet he at one time he lost his law license because of lying. In this regard, the support in leadership he got justified his luck in leadership success in a period of 8 years Clinton ruled as American President.
Q3 Yes, it is true that employees, shareholders, and society are normally too quick to excuse their leaders who use questionable means especially when they are successful in achieving their goals. In any leadership styles, personal credibility is normally attributed to the leader’s character, behavior, integrity, and actions yet most influential leaders, a part from showing character flaws, are continuously supported by employees, stakeholders, and society (Dilts, 2009). To these groups of people, the end or outcome of the action taken by leaders which they deem as essential normally justifies the means of which he or she envisaged that questionable means. This is contributed by the fact that leaders have continued to put their stakeholder’s expectations above their other constituencies thereby damaging their credibility. As a result, employees, stakeholders, and society do not normally question leader’s actions as it is seen a means of achieving their goals.
For instance, despite Jack Welch ruthlessly firing off 10 per cent of his employees on annual basis, no one questioned it because his action was translated as a move that would make General Electric the most valuable company in America.
Q4 No, it is not impossible for a leader to be ethical and successful. The reason why talented leaders and highly successful leaders such as Mark Hurd, former Hewlett-Packard CEO engaged in unethical activities is because they are unable to develop self-awareness of their strength and weaknesses that can allow them assess their character and personal level of integrity (George, 2011). For instance, Hurd was made to resign after submitting false expense report in relation to a given contractor because he was unable to self-reflect on his leadership development path that carries with it character and personal integrity (George, 2011). If this can be enhanced, then it is possible for a leader to be ethical and successful at the same time.
Ethical Dilemma 3: Stressing out Employees
Q1 Stretch goals are normally defined as those objectives that are difficult to reach yet are being used by managers to promote organizational effectiveness and more so personal growth. As a result, there is a trade-off between the positive (higher performance) and the negative (increased stress) effect of stretch goals. While setting goals is a way of ensuring employees are clearly aligned to organization’s expectations, having stretch goals positively increase high work performance as it enables employees to reach their fullest potential (Markovitz, 2012). This is due to the fact that, in most cases, mangers do attach incentives as recognitions of rewarding employees who successfully attain such goals thereby motivating employees in doing so. However, the negative aspect of this strategy is that it makes employees to go through unrealistic goals as set out by managers. As a result, it narrows the non-goal areas such as employees’ health and their distortion risk preferences thereby resulting into unethical behaviors by mangers and leaders.
Q2. Yes, it is important for a manager to consider stress when setting out stretch goals for employees. Since a stretch goal is often an outcome metric which is influenced by target conditions, systematically considering stress is essential for the functionality of the process (Markovitz, 2012). With stress, an employee is unable to ultimately and deeply understand the conditions required to start and improve the outcomes. Therefore, in a case where a valued employee complains of too much stress, he or she should be given a powerful incentive that motivates and encourage him or her.
Q3 The best way of responding to stretch goals is by ensuring that, as an employee, I align my ability and competency with the vibrant stretch. In addition, stretch goals can be achieved if, as an employee or a leader, I stick to ethical organizational conducts in fostering organizational performance rather than personal gain. In so doing, it will increase my performance and reduce stress effects especially those emanating from management authority.
In conclusion, leadership and stretch goals are essential disciplines that require good and appropriate ethical conducts and standards. Therefore, leaders should take into consideration the humanity nature of other associated people so as to carter for the benefit of all rather than for self-interest.