Our approach

Our perspective on ethical leadership

Ethical leaders seem to be driven by a:

-       Desire to build trusting and enriching relationships with all stakeholders without distinction of race, creed or social status

-       Fear of committing injustices towards anyone (especially the weak or out-group people / opponents)

-    Anger against all types of injustices

-       Care about the wellbeing of all people and all living creatures

Leaders are people with strong abilities to move other people towards goals. People are attracted to them, inspired and empowered to follow their way.

They can either be unethical leaders (Hitler, Bin Laden) or be ethical leaders (Gandhi, Muhammad).

Ethical leaders are leaders who consistently lead in a manner that respects rights and dignity of all stakeholders (Youssef Gaboune, 2010)

Ethical leaders consistently:
- engage in acts and behaviors that benefit others and, at the same time,
- refrain from behaviors that can cause any harm to others.

So our efforts should first concentrate on gathering young leaders from every part of the world, who are already motivated to lead with ethics, and empower them with ethical leadership trainings, and media coverage to make their people even more willing to follow their ethical way.

Ethical leadership development should focus on 3 dimensions (Mendonca & Kanungo, 2006), and create challenging situations where great competition pressures and high stakes exist to reveal and work on these 3 dimensions of the ethical leader:

1- The leader’s Character: The ethical leaders must develop a self-awareness and gain personal mastery of their essential internal components and their mechanisms (thinking, emotions, beliefs, talents…) in order to better resist pressures to act unethically and to have enough inner-strength to act with moral courage.

2- The Leader’s Motives: The ethical leader should be driven by sincere altruism only and not some kind of utilitarian altruism (ex: self-satisfaction, ego, public image, reciprocity expectation…)

3- The leader’s Influence strategies: Ethical leaders do not engage in deceitful tactics to influence others, even if they are under pressure. They effectively communicate ethical standards by role modeling ethical behaviour in every situation, by rewarding their constituents’ ethical behaviours, and by disciplining unethical behaviours consistently. Ethical leaders must learn how to build ethical teams and ethical organizations in order to become effective ethical leaders.

Ethical leadership development models
Unless ethical leadership development grows out of a clear conceptual framework, the result can be confusing, simplistic or just plain wrong.

There are two reasons for devising a “model” for ethical leadership development: 
1-    It breaks the idea of ethical leadership into components that can be analyzed
2-    It connects ethical leadership as a concept to ethical leadership as an activity
Conceptual frameworks help design effective training & development programs to build and assess ethical leadership capacities.
1-    Mendonca-Kanungo’s Model
2-    The Center for Creative Leadership’s Model

1. Mendonca-Kanungo’s Model
The motives behind a leader’s behaviors (self-interest, egoism, altruism...) should play a fundamental role in the leadership process, but are generally ignored in leadership theories.
Mendonca and Kanungo (2006, 1996) explained that what distinguishes ethical leaders is their willingness to make personal sacrifices for the common good.
Thus, they suggested a construct to study ethical leadership in 3 dimensions:

2. The Center for Creative Leadership’s Model
The following model (Johnson[1], 2009) is the ethical leadership development framework developed by the Center for Creative Leadership[2] (CCL), which addresses 2 levels of capacity development:

2.1 Leadership capacity level

Researchers at the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) define leadership development as: ‘‘the expansion of a person’s capacity to be effective in leadership roles and processes’’[3] 

Training is one of the fundamental components of leadership development. Its objectives are:


The three most important components of the leadership development process, according to CCL researchers are:


As long as people don’t feel the need to change, they won’t.
The most powerful leadership experiences challenge people.
Tough situations force leaders out of their comfort zone and give them opportunities to practice new skills.

Assessment data leads to self-evaluation
By asking themselves questions like: ‘‘What am I doing well?’’ or ‘‘How do I need to improve?’’, leaders can learn to identify gaps between their current situation and where they need to be.

To make the most of challenges, leaders need support and positive feedback.
The most common source of support is other people (family, co-workers,), but developing leaders can also tap into organizational learning resources or relevant personal development readings.

2.2 Ethical capacity level

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, ethical capacity consists of:


To develop their ethical capacity, leaders need to increase their understanding, sharpen your skills, broaden your worldview, and strengthen your motivation to act ethically in every situation.

Learn about ethical standards and principles that help you make wiser ethical choices.

Action upon reasoned ethical choices largely depends on your motivation to step up even though it could mean retaliation from others. 

 A leader needs to be able to get some perspective of his or her own reasoning (limits, flaws…) and to be open to approach the ethical issue from other stakeholders’ perspectives.

Learn the skills you need to reason ethically and to act upon reasoned ethical choices. 
2.3 How to resist pressures to act unethically
2.4 How to encourage ethical behavior
2.5 How to discourage unethical behavior.


Ethical Leadership Ambassador Training from Yougab

[1] Johnson C.E., Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership, Sage Publications, 2009
[2] The Center for Creative Leadership Handbook of Leadership Development  , Described in Johnson C.E, 2009

[3] McCauley, C.D., Moxley, R.S., & Van Velsor, E. (Eds.). The Center for Creative Leadership handbook of leadership development. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p.4.