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Whether you are new to being self-employed or you are trying to refine your skills as a business person, it's so important to be ethical. These days, there is a massive difference between being a boss and being a leader. A leader is someone who guides and inspires, and this is why if you want to be a better leader, you've got to become a more ethical person. With this in mind, what does it really take to become more ethical?
If you want to be a great leader you can look to others for inspiration but then assimilate what appeals to you into your leadership style and actions. If you are looking to be a more sustainable business person, you've got to keep your ear to the ground. For example, if you see business leaders constantly checking the COP26 news, you know you have to do the same! There are so many leaders, not just in the modern-day, but throughout history that you can glean information from. Conducting a little bit of research and identifying what they have done well can help you to look at something differently while also implementing those behaviours into your role.
The notion of bias has never been more front and centre. As humans, we all have beliefs whether they are conscious or subconscious. A lot of these behaviours can be outdated and while we may not want to admit to our failures, we have to practice self-awareness. Unconscious bias training is something that could make a big difference in how you approach your work. Everybody has a sense of bias but many people are not challenged on it. A diverse workforce means a variety of people who are more than willing to expose biases. It's so important that we look at ourselves and be honest in our attitudes, and if we find that we have a subconscious bias that impacts someone, we need to work to undo these attitudes. So many people are afraid of admitting these, especially in light of the “cancel culture” environment, which is why, as a preemptive measure, you should turn the mirror on to yourself.
You need to define your values and align them with your beliefs, but as we grow up our conventions change and our values start to shift. We need to ask ourselves what matters to us, but we also need to make sure that we surround ourselves with similar people. It's so important when we are working with others to find people who are able to display different perspectives and experiences, which makes for a more vibrant and dynamic workplace and keeps everybody questioning their inherent ideas towards what ethics or morality is.
To be an effective leader, you've got to be communicative, lead by example, and remember that caring for yourself is just as important. If you want to be an ethical leader, you've got to be an ethical person.
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