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Define Who You Are As an Ethical Leader

March 27, 2020 by Karen Grossman |

Compass with Leader at NorthWhether you’re in a leadership position or you have never held a leadership role, the online Ethical Leadership course will help you define who you are as a leader.

Ethical Leadership is an elective course for any student in the online B.S. in Integrated Professional Studies (BIPS) program. Students develop critical thinking skills as they learn ways to think through making ethical decisions and systems thinking skills as they see how a decision impacts a whole system.

“The main thing we want a person to do is be able to define for themselves what their ethical values are as leaders and be able to apply them,” says Matthew Loyd, instructional designer for the course.

Recognize Your Leadership Potential

“Everyone is and can be a leader,” says David Bull, course instructor and academic professional assistant professor at UNCG Online. “In the context of this course, they learn to identify and recognize in themselves that they are and can be leaders, and can be ethical leaders and be successful at that.”

Even if you don’t have leadership experience yet, this course is applicable.

Key topics in the course include:

  • Core values and leadership
  • Ethical frameworks and behavior
  • Empathy and conflict resolution
  • Ethical responsibilities
  • Determining where leadership fails
  • Applying ethical leadership

For military-affiliated students, the course is part of the new Military Leadership Track, featuring a specialized curriculum with courses that develop skills to prepare them for senior staff and command roles.

Define Your Leadership

Through self-assessment and reflection, students gain an understanding of their own values and who they are as leaders. Whether a democratic leader seeking team input or a strict bureaucratic leader sticking to rules, students learn they will have to implement different leadership styles during the decision-making process.

“You don’t necessarily fall into one leadership style at all times,” Bull says. “You can’t employ a democratic leadership style when you’re in crisis. You can’t put it up to a vote because you just need to make a decision and you need to move forward with the decision.”

Throughout the course, students will evaluate their values and others’ through case studies. They examine decisions that have worked and explore times when ethical leadership has failed, bringing examples of real organizations into their own ethical perspective. At the end of the course, they re-evaluate who they are as leaders and reflect on how their ethical leadership perspective would adapt to challenges.

“The goal is training future leaders, and you want them to be able to have the conviction of their principles and to be able to stand up for what they believe in,” Bull says. “We’re getting students to understand that if you let your values guide the decision-making process, then you’ll be able to make the hard decisions that other people would take the easy way out of.”

Learn More

For more information about the BIPS program, download a brochure.

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