Healthcare Ethical Leadership

Healthcare leaders must exhibit ethical leadership to inspire followers and realize efficiency in their roles and responsibilities. Ethical healthcare leaders develop ethical codes and practices to achieve focused leadership, set relationships and examples, support management participation and demonstrate democracy in behavior and decision-making. Some of the concepts that healthcare managers can use to demonstrate ethical leadership may include risk-taking, enlisting the help of others, experimentation, and setting examples. While utilizing these concepts can help a manager achieve extraordinary things, healthcare managers must practice ethical leadership practices aggressively by using their actions to influence followers and build favorable circumstances.

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Ethical leaders set examples for their followers to ensure that followers do the right thing. While ethical leadership explores example-setting and doing the right thing, employees require the right motivation to engage in their work emotionally and ethically approach their roles and responsibilities (Bhatti et al., 2020). By setting the example, a healthcare ethical leader allows followers to practice appropriate behavior, express genuine concerns and attitudes towards their work, and concentrate on positive decision-making. Employees focus on performance-based behaviors and achieving moral values when their leader or manager exhibits integrity, compassion, and sincerity (Bhatti et al., 2020). A healthcare leader or manager leading through example-setting demonstrates ethical behavior by outlining important steps and behaviors to achieve optimal outcomes.

A healthcare ethical leader can also outline moral strength by indicating what followers must do through action and behavior. Morally strong leaders cultivate a climate of excellence, service performance, and performance satisfaction (Bhatti et al., 2020). As an ethical leader leads through example-setting, copying ethical and moral conduct to achieve organizational goals becomes possible. Example-setting promotes knowledge-sharing as followers follow in their leader’s footsteps, concentrate and moral decision-making, and achieve ethical conduct in their organizations through positive performance behavior.

Healthcare leaders must enlist the help of others to become active leaders and create a climate for learning. Practices promoting a learning and active learning culture include developing trust, collaborating, cheering others, and appreciating others’ needs and preferences. Active learning entails reflecting on risks and opportunities and appreciating others’ preferences and contributions to performance improvement (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Enlisting the help of others comes easily through a climate of learning whereby leaders support each other’s growth by focusing on high-quality relationships. Learning behaviors create a positive work environment through collaborative action (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Healthcare ethical leaders and managers must enlist the help of others to thrive by learning from what their peers and followers know and prefer.

Furthermore, enlisting the help of others supports collaborative action whereby followers feel appreciated. In the process, they tend to put in their best effort to attract their leader/manager’s attention and benefit from the winner-take-it-all perspective. By enlisting the help of others, healthcare managers create a safe highway for people to take responsibility for their actions, leading to a culture that supports active learning and collaboration.

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Experimentation in leadership entails adapting to a planned and tested model to compare and apply outcomes. Ethical leadership explores critical components such as integrity and resilience, magnanimity, justice, humility, compassion, and objectivity (Hegarty & Moccia, 2018). For instance, justice as a component of ethical leadership covers a leader’s attitude and behaviors, is cautious against stereotypical concepts, and focuses on positive practices. However, for healthcare ethical leaders to achieve justice related to ideal leadership practices, they must explore the impact of experimentation principles on leadership well-being. Experimentation in leadership entails believing in others, radiating positive energy, exercising self-renewal, leading a balanced life, and believing in others (Hole, 2012). As observed before, ethical leadership must incorporate prudence and objectivity. Prudence and objectivity entail thoughtful deliberation of actions and consequences and assessing numerous perspectives to establish the best course of action (Hegarty & Moccia, 2018). However, proper experimentation of leadership actions and decisions must observe proper planning, design, estimation, and description. These actions and decisions ensure that healthcare leaders observe ethical practices by engaging deep thought in actions and plans. Experimentation promotes ethical leadership by gauging actions and decisions against their consequences before their full roll-out.

Risk-taking strengthens resilient leadership to achieve ethical leadership objectives.  Leaders must stick to their plans even when things go wrong, and they should struggle to achieve their leadership goals and objectives (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Interpreting setbacks as temporary challenges to prosperity allows ethical leaders to take the right risks benefiting their organizations. Specifically, healthcare leaders must work through setbacks by taking the right risk, refining their plans, and considering situational circumstances and their impact on organizational wellness (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Ethical leaders must observe certain practices that create opportunities for wins and meaningful progress and keep people focused. Leaders must take risks by experimenting with new ideas and emphasizing challenges’ impact on long-term prosperity (Kouzes & Posner, 2012). Risk-taking promotes ethical leadership by demonstrating the ability to relate between keeping people focused and breaking projects into small, achievable goals. Risk-taking introduces new measures and practices for experimentation and committing everyone to their roles and responsibilities. Realizing these objectives supports ethical leadership as leaders demonstrate the relationship between prudence and resilience. In the process, healthcare leaders/managers achieve what seems impossible without risk-taking, experimentation, and goal-setting.

Healthcare ethical leadership practices utilize actions to influence followers and build positive circumstances. Experimentation, risk-taking, enlisting the help of others, and example-setting demonstrates a leader’s capacity to influence by leading from the front. Leaders must strengthen their ethical practices by supporting a culture of resilience and shaping positive follower attitudes toward the process.



Bhatti, M. H., Akram, U., Bhatti, M. H., Rasool, H., & Su, X. (2020). Unraveling the effects of ethical leadership on knowledge sharing: The mediating roles of subjective well-being and social media in the hotel industry. Sustainability12(20), 8333.

Hegarty, N., & Moccia, S. (2018). Components of ethical leadership and their importance in sustaining organizations over the long term. The Journal of Values-Based Leadership11(1), 7.

Hole, G. T. (2014). Understanding Leadership: An Experimental-Experiential Model. Journal of Inquiry and Action in Education5(3), 1.

Kouzes, J., & Posner, B. (2012). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen. Atlanta, GA: Better World Books.

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