Op Ed: Ethical Leadership – are you humble enough for it?

publication date: Aug 8, 2018
author/source: Kimberley MacKenzie

Transactional Leadership, Autocratic Leadership, Transformational Leadership, Authentic Leadership, Situational Leadership... The list could go on. There are probably as many leadership styles as there are leaders.

It is time to take a good look at the kind of leadership style that works best for addressing the leadership gap in the charitable sector.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to meet Mpumi Nobiva at a conference. Nobiva is an AIDS orphan who grew up in South Africa. Nobiva lived in extreme poverty and was smart enough, and lucky enough, to get into Oprah Winfrey’s Leadership Academy for girls –she excelled. Nobiva realized her dream to go to University in the United States and now she is a force for good and truth.

During her compelling presentation Nobiva introduced me to a concept called Ethical Leadership. She described it as: “doing the right thing even if it goes unnoticed.” The concept reminded me of a book I had read last year by Adam Grant called Give and Take.

In Give and Take Grant talks about drivers for success and three specific professional profiles: Matchers, Takers and Givers. Matchers will do something for you if you do something for them. Takers….well… they take and leave you in the dust. Giver’s lift everyone around them up. Guess which profile ended up with the most lucrative and satisfying career? While the concept of ethical leadership is not mentioned in the book I believe it is the Giver’s as defined by Grant that definitely fit Nobiva’s description of Ethical Leaders.

When I think about Ethical Leaders in my professional sphere, there is one person who comes to mind for me immediately. Paul Nazareth is that person. Paul’s personal mission is actually to: “Promote purposeful passionate people to help them reach professional and personal potential while enjoying life to the fullest.” And he is serious about it. I realize that when someone looks at you intensely, leans in and says: “How can I help you? What do you want to achieve?” it can seem a little creepy. That’s just because we are not used to altruist sincere networking like that.

Can you think of someone who has impacted your life who demonstrates Ethical Leadership? Please share. Let’s raise the bar for everyone. Let’s close the leadership gap.

Kimberley works with a variety of organizations to create the change needed to advance a culture of philanthropy and ultimately raise more money for their missions. She has served as Editor of Charity eNEWS, a member of the Advisory council for the Rogare Think Tank in Plymouth University and as Director of Education for the Planned Giving Council of Simcoe County. Contact her via @kimberleycanada, email her at k@kimberleymackenzie.ca.

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