Leading With a Moral Compass

Authored by: Eugene Ohu , Princess Anifowose

The Routledge Companion to Management and Workplace Spirituality

Print publication date:  March  2019
Online publication date:  March  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138499188
eBook ISBN: 9781351015110
Adobe ISBN:


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Leadership is an individual ideal as well as a value laden relationship. This chapter develops the viewpoint that both the leader and followers in any endeavor are essential to the attainment of the set goal, but that like a navigator depends on a compass, the pathway to the objective should neither be arbitrary nor subjective, but depend on a reference point. A true reference point, like the geographical “true north,” must be stable and unchangeable, which suggests the need for some objective criteria of right and wrong. Against this ethic framework, virtues are proposed as both the coins for this relational transaction, as well as the compass guiding the behavior of the parties involved. Following Aristotle, the four cardinal virtues are offered as the guide and measure of the virtues, and hence the qualifier of their moral direction. The key role of the follower in choosing the leader is also highlighted, particularly the importance of free will in this choice. But, like the leader, virtuous followership also relies on the virtues as a directional compass. The authors end the chapter with suggestions of some key virtues of the leadership function, particularly magnanimity.

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