by Anthony Middlebrooks, Scott J. Allen, Mindy S. McNutt and James L. Morrison
This chapter examined ethical issues that directly impact the student experience and highlighted some key terminology and ideas. These concepts included foundational ideas around ethics and your ethical code, moral principles, virtues and finding balance, integrity, values, and laws. Your moral development is the result of many influences, mainly family and education. Your growth continues even today.
All aspects of the leadership process comprise decisions, and as such, are filled with ethical challenges. Those challenges, in leadership and life, can be categorized into five domains: academic, family, work, extracurricular, and friendship.
Perhaps most important, this chapter helps you design several dimensions of your approach to ethical leadership. Ethical leadership may feel like a set of extremes. On one end, there is an ideal state for men and women. Words like altruism, justice, and caring. At the other extreme, there are examples of men and women who have engaged in horrific acts that have done significant damage as toxic or bad leaders. While you may not experience this extreme, it takes a great deal of moral courage to lead and follow.
You can become a more skilled ethical decision maker by working on your ethical fitness. This starts with finding clarity about yourself and your values. Assuming your goal is to be an individual of sound character, you must determine your “true north”—who you are and what you stand for. The BASE model provides a strategy for you to practice ethical decision making actively, so you are prepared when you face a significant ethical dilemma.