Roots Are Important
A large and strong oak tree towered over the front of my neighbor’s house. As a great wind storm came over our town, with a large crack, the tree fell into the street. Upon inspection, we were told the tree had no taproot. Without a taproot, this majestic tree was weakened and vulnerable to just the sort of storm that swept through.
As leaders, how often are we visibly strong looking but lack a root system? The internal roots of ethical leadership are what create long-lasting strength. There are three key fruits of being a well-rooted ethical leader. As you read each one, consider to what extent your ethic root(s) are healthy.
3 Key Fruits of Ethically Rooted Leadership:
Listening with Empathy
Fruit: Empathetic listening is the ability to listen to others—to understand their needs and desires, individually and as a team. An ethical leader intends goodwill toward others and is aware of other’s emotions and situations.
Root: The rooted side of empathetic listening is honoring your inner voice and creating space to listen to your emotions and thoughts. Moreover, empathy allows us to be receptive to others, what they may be going through, and how our choices may impact them.
Leading with Humility and Wisdom
Fruit: Ethical leaders learn from the past and are realistic—and use this past-present framework to build finely-tuned shared dreams. Ethical leaders employ persuasion to develop plans and reach goals, rather than intimidation. This persuasion stems from humility, not manipulation. They encourage the exchange of perspectives to create a greater sense of shared meaning, which builds the kind of buy-in that is critical to move toward successful execution.
Root: Humble leaders don’t think of themselves as better than others. They recognize their own fallibility and that wisdom is found in many places and people. This blend of humility and wisdom, often born in past failures, serves to help a leader be receptive to the input of others and desirous of bringing team members with him/her to create a shared vision and goals.
Cultivating Team Growth
Fruit: Ethical leadership cultivates a team through community building where relationships are based on mutual respect and trust. There are many ways to build community, such as having meals together, sharing stories, knowing each other’s families, demonstrating genuine care towards one another, recognizing and celebrating individual and team successes together, and being able to navigate conflict in a healthy manner.
Root: Leaders make a conscious decision to push aside the “urgency” of work in order to build community. This doesn’t mean that work isn’t important. On the contrary, there is an emphasis on results obtained through developing a high performing team culture.
Ethical Leadership Reflection:
On a scale of 1-10, where 1 is low and 10 is high, how would you rate yourself on these 3 ethical leadership roots:
- Empathy: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
- Humility/Wisdom: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
- Team Growth & Community: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
As you consider your scores, what actions can you take to be a stronger ethical leader? Need help? Call (916.788.1094) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) us today!
For the Faith-Based Reader:
As leaders, our heart position is of great importance and impacts what we do and how. With our relationship with Christ, our love for him and others in all we do is far greater of value than the outward display of our sacrifices.
Mark 12:33 “To love him [God] with all your heart, with all your understanding, and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”