They do this because it often allows them to see and make the right and principled decision, even if inconvenient. They also do this, though, based on an appreciation for the paradox of success. Like the paradox of happiness, the more we pursue success for its own end, the more it tends to elude us.
Therefore, ethical leaders don’t demonstrate moral leadership in order to generate success. Rather, they demonstrate ethical leadership because it is the right thing to do and as an expression of faith in that it creates the space for success to find them.
The research in the December 2022 State of Moral Leadership in Business report confirms that the imperative for moral leadership is more urgent than ever. Data collected from 2,500 employees across a variety of sectors in the United States demonstrates a deep desire to work with and for moral leaders.
Employees with CEOs in the top-tier compared to the bottom-tier for moral leadership are five times more likely to strongly agree that their organization has satisfied customers, six times more likely to strongly agree that their organization is poised to improve its business results in the next year, and eight times more likely to strongly agree that their organization adapts quickly to change. Moral leadership also fuels the engine for this success. 94% of employees with managers in the top-tier for moral leadership strongly agree that their manager is effective at achieving business goals.