Must A Leader Maintain the Highest Ethical and Moral Standards to Keep Effective
阅读时间 ~2 分钟
A leader is created by the demands of the people he or she serves. The central role of the leader in leading the government and serving the people is often under discussion. Some people believe that an official must maintain the highest ethical and moral standards in order to be an effective leader. From my point of view, people with high moral standards will be more likely to be effective leaders but these standards do not necessarily achieve effectiveness nonetheless. In some cases, remaining loyal to high moral principles without any chance of compromise will weaken the effectiveness of a leader.
Before going any further, we need to clarify the definition of “effective”. Since the mission of a political leader, in my view, is to unite people, distribute limited resources, and make important decisions to ensure national prosperity, an effective leader must finish such mission well. With this definition, we can now discuss how moral standards impact a leader’s effectiveness.
Maintaining the highest ethical and moral standards can definitely promote a leader’s effectiveness because his or her personality will attract support and cooperation from the public. In other words, his or her opinions and decisions are more likely to be accepted by citizens, enabling political goals more likely to be achieved. For instance, in Chinese history an emperor with high moral principles was always admired and supported by his or her people. People were more willing to execute the emperor’s orders, facilitating the accomplishment of his or her political goals. That is why strong, prosperous dynasties such as those of the Han, Tang and Song, were founded by emperors with high moral standards.
Some, however, may argue that the possession of high moral standards cannot guarantee a leader will be effective. What they claim may be based on the following supporting example. The primary goal of a leader of one country plagued by terrorism is to defend people and improve national security. If the leader could lead the nation to win the war on terror, he or she must be considered effective in spite of some immoral means taken to achieve the goal. Indeed, whereas leaders with superior moral qualities are more inclined to be effective, effectiveness does not necessarily originate in the moral standards. In some cases adhering to the highest moral standards actually backfires, such as honesty and integrity which require actions that may place national interest in jeopardy. From a purely moral perspective, leaders ought to be candid and should not withhold any information. Such information, however, could be abused by terrorists.
To summarize, it is evident that high moral qualities do not equate to effective leadership. In some circumstances a leader’s loyalty without any exception to high moral standards can result in serious problems and even damage social interests. That being said, possessing high moral principles can help leaders achieve their political missions, because such principles will help them earn people’s trust and support, and facilitate governmental efficiency.