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In times of crisis, when uncertainty is rife, leaders who can inspire trust and temper anxiety are indispensable. Given how tumultuous the world is, the need for robust and moral leadership feels more critical than ever. Unfortunately, positive examples in business and politics alike seem few and far between.

An organisation’s culture is heavily influenced by the people who lead it. If those at the executive level are open, transparent and communicate clearly with authenticity. Their behaviour sets the tone and will drive how others behave, helping create a culture of service. Driving business performance while behaving ethically and treating others with respect is fundamental to true moral leadership.

Moral leadership refers to conduct that exemplifies strong moral values, selflessness and integrity. To be moral leaders, we must act with compassion and empathy, understanding the different issues affecting employees, customers and stakeholders.

Proper workplace ethics are a core component of a thriving organisational culture. An organisation with a genuinely embedded code of ethics typically benefits from motivated employees resulting in higher levels of performance. To enable this, we should continually self-regulate and maintain a firm ethical grounding when facing the messiness and complexities of the world around us. This is a tricky balancing act, and we invariably face ethical dilemmas that seem to have no good answers.

To navigate the impending cost of living crisis, amongst other issues facing the world at large, we’ll need a steady head and clear communication to keep people calm and focussed in times of crisis.

The list of contemporary examples of narcissistic leadership continues to attract media attention. When an organisation’s focus is obsessively trained on its leader and not its purpose, this can create issues. This is accentuated by the ability of narcissists to manipulate others and their capacity to establish rapid, if shallow, relationships that can serve them well as they move up the organisational ladder.

A ‚Äėdo as I say, not as I do‚Äô attitude is dated and has lost broad acceptance in modern society. We now more often look to leaders to be the champion and spearhead of the organisation. True leaders listen and consider a diverse range of perspectives, keep focused and act with humility.

Perhaps now more than ever, we need leaders who can balance the requirements of the challenges of the moment and invest in the training, infrastructure and people that will keep their organisation competitive and relevant for the future. Given the difficulties facing us, we need leaders with influence who act compassionately and assertively – that create value for the business and drive the positive service culture required for long-term success.

Jo joined The Institute as its CEO in 2009. She has driven membership growth by 150 percent and established the UK Customer Satisfaction Index as the country’s premier indicator of consumer satisfaction, providing organisations with an indicator of the return on their service strategy investment.

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