Ethical Leadership Doesn’t Happen Overnight ….. Or Does It?


By Lisa A. Gross, Ethics Analysis Senior Manager, Lockheed Martin
Darren Hill, Director, Ethics Business Conduct, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
Session P2:  Ethical Leadership Doesn’t Happen Overnight, or Does it?  I Was an Employee Yesterday…Leader Today, but Am I an Ethical Leader?
September 15, 2019, 8:45-10:15 AM

Does your company have a prominent ethical culture?  Do the leaders at your company embrace ethical leadership?  How do you assimilate and prepare your employees to become ethical leaders?

Intuitively we know this doesn’t happen overnight – yet, when we promote employees into a leadership position, we anticipate and expect they will be effective, successful and of course ethical!  After all, they beat the competition and you selected them, right?

Simple questions to a complex organizational challenge!

There are significant differences between managing and leading.  Understanding this distinction is very important. Mangers provide direction and they establish structure and systems to get results. Their main focus is meeting an established objective.  Often, they achieve results through an autocratic and direct approach.  Effective leaders, on the other hand, are not only responsible for results but typically focus on virtues such as trust, honesty, integrity, a good work ethic and people.

Effective leadership means being self-aware and understanding one’s strengths, limitations and continually seeking feedback. They understand their importance to the team but most importantly that without an assimilated team, the goals cannot be achieved.

Good leaders are effective at communicating and connecting with people. They promote values and define goals. Authentic leaders have earned the trust of those that work with and for them – understanding this is a powerful motivator.

It’s no coincidence that the world’s most ethical companies are also among the most successful, while those lacking an assimilated ethical culture and authentic ethical leaders continue to struggle.

Recognition of unethical leadership is paramount and knowing how best to turn around this type of behavior is crucial. An effective assimilation program does not only foster an ethical culture and ethical leadership but also leads to the success of your company and its trusted reputation.


  1. Grateful to learn and b e reminded once again that effective and ethical leadership does not and will not happen overnight which means contributions towards leadership training and growth will not be employed in vain. now and in the near future. . As a business leader I look forward to receiving more of such advice going forward especially for the medium and long term s with regards to issues such as when and how is it appropriate to relocate or expand businesses across territorial or geographic borders moving forward Also I will be grateful to receive more clarity on the required mode of action and interaction with my workforce or employees in the near future considering issues such as BREXIT, and other changes that might occur on the global political and economic stage.

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