Today we bring back one of our favourite guests, Charles A. “Chad” Weinstein, to continue our series on an ethical leadership framework.
We’ll be discussing the fifth segment of the framework, “Service”. We’ll recap on the first four segments in a moment, but first, here is a little background on our guest today:
Weinstein is president of Ethical Leaders in Action, LLC., and author of Thinking Aloud: Reflections on Ethical Leadership. Ethical Leaders in Action (ELA) provides leadership development, education, and strategic consulting services to public safety, health care, and business organizations. Weinstein is a frequent presenter at conferences, seminars, and events.
He is community faculty member of the Metropolitan State University School of Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement. Weinstein also serves on Mixed Blood Theatre’s Board of Directors.
Weinstein’s formal education is in ethics, but his experience – and orientation – is as a business practitioner. He recognized early on that while most of business ethics is concerned with constraining bad behavior, its failures in that respect continue to make headlines. He believes that our ethical traditions are much broader, teaching and urging us to work and live in ways that are both meaningful and productive.
Ethical leadership is the critical factor. Weinstein’s work is primarily oriented toward helping leaders foster that broader sense of ethics and effectiveness in their work, in pursuit of ELA’s mission: Empower ethical leaders to achieve extraordinary results.
In this week’s show:
- A recap of the first four pillars of Charles’ ethical leadership framework
- Service in a nutshell
- How does Service fit in with all the other virtues in the ethical leadership framework?
- How does Justice correlate with Courage?
- Virtues tend to have moderate points between extremes. So what would the extreme of Service look like?
- Is the virtue of Service all about will or skill?
- What skills or abilities are involved in being of service?
- As leaders, how can we cultivate a culture of Service?
- What are the challenges to exhibiting the virtue of Service?
- A summary of Chad’s ethical leadership framework
- How to find more information on Chad and his framework
A recap of the first four pillars of Charles’ ethical leadership framework
Today we’re covering one quality or virtue that makes us more effective as ethical leaders: Service. This virtue works as part of a framework of five qualities:
By building these qualities in ourselves like muscles, we can become more effective at bringing out the best in others.
If we are Courageous as leaders, we know we are willing to do what it takes even when leading is scary or difficult.
If we are Creative, we’re committed to making things better when that is the right thing to do.
If we are Clear, we have a vision and direction, we use data effectively and we are understanding the challenges put in front of us.
Service is the commitment and ability to do something for someone other than ourselves. It is one of the qualities that we cultivate to become more effective as ethical leaders over time.
Service in a nutshell
Service can be broken down into components.
- The quality of altruism: Is it important to you to give to others and make the world a better place?
- The capacity for empathy: It’s important to be able to put yourself in other people’s shoes and understand their perspectives.
- The quality of justice: People that are committed to Service are also committed in part to making sure that people’s rights are protected, that human beings are treated with their due respect.
On the note of justice, Chad refers to a lesson his Dad taught him:
Respect is fundamental. It is what you accord other human beings. Never confuse respect with affection or admiration. You get to choose who you like and admire, but you don’t get to choose who you respect.
The virtue of service hinges in part on a fundamental recognition that all human beings have value.
How does Service fit in with all the other virtues in the ethical leadership framework?
All these virtues are interrelated. For example, if you are being Courageous in a given scenario, but not Competent, you could be about to make a big mistake. So you can’t operate from just one of the virtues within the framework to be an effective leader.
Service mixes with all the other qualities to guide what we’re doing.
How does Justice correlate with Courage?
Chad believes they go together like hand and glove. One of the reasons that injustice exists in the world is because there is a lack of courage to stop it.
When we understand what is right, fair, or just, it may be very difficult to act in accordance with that awareness. And that is where courage comes in.
Virtues tend to have moderate points between extremes. So what would the extreme of Service look like?
The Greeks strongly believed in the doctrine of the mean – that what was right was in between the extremes.
You could say with Service, how could you have too much of it? Chad believes you can.
One way would be if you are acting from Service to the point that you deplete yourself. You have in essence demonstrated an excess of the virtue of Service. It becomes unsustainable and self-defeating.
Similarly, we can be so motivated by Service that we can forget some of the other virtues that are a part of the framework. For example, in an attempt to be helpful we can venture into an area where we’re not competent instead of finding someone who is.
Is the virtue of Service all about will or skill?
Chad believes strongly that all of the virtues involve both will and skill.
In this instance, there is more will than skill. But nevertheless, there is skill involved.
For example, some people are unable to listen to the desires and requirements of the people they are looking to serve. So despite the best intentions to display the virtue of Service are not able to effectively deliver it.
It is primarily about having the desire and commitment to providing Service, but you also have to be good at it to some degree.
What skills or abilities are involved in being of service?
First of all, we have to know ourselves, our strengths and our shortcomings.
Secondly, we have to understand the people that we’re working with.
We also need to invoke the virtue of Clarity. To have a vision for what we’re doing and why.
And we may need some of the fortitude of Courage to push through even when it gets hard.
The ability of Service meshes with all the other virtues in the framework.
What are the challenges to exhibiting the virtue of Service?
A perception of scarcity can be a real barrier in our ability to be of service to others. Feeling as though we don’t have enough resources or time to meet our own needs, and this can bar us from giving that time to the service of others.
Another challenge is our lack of connection to other people. It is easier to be of service to someone we know than someone we don’t. It can be very difficult to reach across differences, distances, cultures, communities to really be of service to others.
As leaders, how can we cultivate a culture of Service?
It’s important to maintain and reinforce a sense of purpose within your organisation. Leading by example and staying true to a vision statement and your purpose as a business to serve others.
Sebastian Junger wrote a great book recently called ‘Tribe’ in which he looks at how the experience of veterans can help all of us see the benefits and the power of feeling connected to a group of people. He points out that in some respects in our society, we don’t have adversity that pulls us together. He looks at examples of how having a common challenge pulls groups of people together in ways that we don’t tend to see otherwise.
Obviously, as leaders, we don’t want to be going out and creating crises, but through our actions, we can create conditions where people pull together for the common good.
A summary of Chad’s ethical leadership framework
Ethical leaders are people who bring out the best in others and empower them to make a positive difference in the world. Differences both large and small.
To do that we need some skills and commitments. And drawing on the Greek perspective for character development, we call those skills and commitments virtues; qualities within us that we can cultivate in order to be the person who brings out the best in others.
Again, those virtues of ethical leadership are:
We build those virtues by being aware of them, by guiding our actions in accordance with them, and by reflecting on our experiences and learn from successes and failures.
This is something you can best achieve by forming relationships with others, helping them to observe their achievements and correct their failures and vice versa.
How to find more information on Chad and his framework
Chad would be happy to engage with any of our listeners at any time. You can find more on his website, or by phone:
(+1) 651 646 1512