Assignment Sample on Authentic leadership and ethical leadership in today’s popular model of leadership


            In today’s developing era, the market competitiveness is increasing rapidly and every company needs to adopt the leadership practices that can affect their growth positively. Leadership is a different concept in comparison with traditional generations (Yasir and Mohamad, 2016). The previous top-down approach of management is not liked by employees and poor employee engagement affects the productivity of an organisation. Every individual wants effective engagement, commitment and wants to feel that the suggestion given by them matters.

Authentic leadership is the better choice every company can adopt as it encourages people to work together. On the other hand, ethical leadership means arranging a set of ethics and values that a leader must follow in every part of their life either personal or professional (Copeland, 2016). In this essay, the benefits and importance of authentic and ethical leadership will be discussed. Every side has two faces so the negative impacts of these two leadership practices are also described. The models will be used to explain the concepts effectively.


            According to Lee (2019) authentic leaders can inspire and influence people so they can work hard and communicate so the conflicts can be resolved. Leaders following authentic practices need to be transparent, self-aware, and genuine with their team members. In simple words, authentic leadership means behaving with consistency and integrity. Their quality of staying true and honest helps them in leading the team members efficiently. Other than that, leaders express their values and qualities in brief with their team that helps in building their trust and loyalty elaborated that Sharma (2019). On the other sight, ethical leaders follow their set of rules and values and wish that their group also follows them during any task performance. They possess the ability that has power of attracting skilled employees and increases their engagement level as well.

            Furthermore, the authentic leader is somewhere similar to ethical leaders as they also follow ethics and values while doing any task. They’ve made their ethical codes and never compromise on them and choose right and wrong based on that. Another quality factor possessed by authentic leaders is power as per du Plessis and Boshoff, (2018). Every leader has some powers but they have the quality to use that power factor in the right place. They use the power so they can bring up the good for their team and the objectives that they are aiming to achieve. Authentic leaders not only know about the power they have but they possess the capability to choose that power as per the situation. Another quality possessed by these leaders is effective communication. They use a massive number of communication techniques to meet their values and they also inspire their teams by giving clear instructions.

Authentic leadership and ethical leadership Characteristics of authentic leaders.

Figure 1: Characteristics of authentic leaders.

(Source: Authentic leadership, 2018)

               The first strategy used by them is storytelling that means as an effective communicator, one must use the essential message to make team understand their vision and mission statement of the organisation stated that Olaniyan and Hystad, (2016). Storytelling inspires the team member to enhance their work-efficiency as they understand the aim adequately. Another communication strategy used by authentic leaders is all about “give and take” as per Authentic Leadership, (2018). They listen to every team member actively and implements good recommendations given by the group members. They also believe in giving feedback that improves the thinking ability of the team as well. Authentic leaders have the ability that helps them in creating a culture of free communication. This description of the strategies used by them states that authentic leaders use excellent communication that helps in keeping the team together.

            According to Powlus, (2017) Bill Georges described five characteristics of authentic leaders that include purpose and passion, values and behavior, self-discipline and consistency, relationships and connectedness, and heart and compassion. The first characteristic describes that they possess a sense of purpose that means they have adequate knowledge about their work and what they want to achieve. The purpose is followed by passion. It means passionate people are always interested in the work they are doing and always keep themselves motivated and inspired (Fox 2020). Other than that, their work is based on some values followed by them that describe the second characteristic of George’s model. It is the quality that manifests their behavior. They particularly behave as per their values and encourage other people to follow them as well. For example, Beth an authentic leader doesn’t allow the team members to take any shortcuts if they don’t follow the described policy.

Five dimensions of Authentic Leadership.  Authentic leadership and ethical leadership

Figure 2: Five dimensions of Authentic Leadership. 

(Source: Blanchard, 2018)

            The third characteristic is building relationships with their team members that enhance the level of connectedness with their group. Their excellent communication helps them in building trust and loyalty among employees and allows them to enhance this attribute. The fourth feature is all about self-discipline that gives them the ability to focus on their objective, determination and inspires them to move forward even if they go through failures elaborated that Shakeel (2019). Self-discipline helps them in staying consistent even in the time of stressful and tough situations. The last characteristic shows that they have a heart that can be noticed in their compassion. In the opinion of Blanchard, (2018) they kindly take care of others’ needs and requirements and help them during their tough situation. In this way, authentic leaders can enhance the work performance of the team and influence them to bring out the best. Bill George’s model on authentic leadership clearly states that these leaders can rule the future growth of any organisation.

For example, Howard Schultz Starbucks founder was highly inspired by the struggle related to poor health done by their father. Starbucks was the first American company that started the health care options provided to their part-time employees. Schultz was using the real-life experiences faced by them and build a company by taking inspiration from them described by Mangloff, (2020). Instead of compromising, Howard worked on weaknesses so they can convert them into strengths. Schultz possesses the qualities to adopt the changing environment and works based on them. It is the best example of authentic leaders. The complete description of the importance of authentic leaders is described.

The major negativity of following the authentic practice of leadership is that values don’t work for every situation. There come many situations when leaders need to think differently concerned with their core values as per Williams and Seaman, (2016). Another drawback of this leadership style is values followed by authentic leaders are not always liked by their employees. It can become the primary reason for raising the conflicts between team members and leaders. They always take feedbacks and opinions of others that might become an obstacle when the phase of making quick-decisions occurs.

Ethical leadership is all about understanding personal core values and implementing them in all the work performed. Their primary quality is to develop excellent values through the actions and words expressed by them described by Shapiro and Stefkovich, (2016). Ethical leadership has some positivity that benefits an organisation in several ways such as scandal prevention, creates a positive work environment, excellent brand reputation, and equality among team members as per Lemoine, (2018). It is an important practice that needs to be followed as it enhances equality in the workplace that helps in reducing the discrimination done by some individuals. On the other hand, implementing a positive work environment helps in bringing the best out of their employees and also enables excellent work-efficiency. It states the major qualities and abilities possessed by ethical leaders.

Furthermore, their ethical values don’t allow them to increase any scandal situation that can harm the reputation of the brand. Ethical leaders always try to enhance the growth of the organisation so profitability can be increased. The task performed by these leaders is concerned with honesty that allows the employee to have trust in their leaders. They can reduce the stressful environment in the workplace so the employee’s productivity can be improved. According to Özbağ, (2016) to become an ethical leaders, they must be aware of their core values and connect them with organisational values so the best outcome can be achieved.

Their major concern is to solve all the ethical dilemmas so the performance of employees cannot be affected. The model used for explaining ethical leader is the 4V model that stands for Value, Voice, Virtue, and Vision elaborated by Ethical Leadership 4v Model Values, (2017). The first feature is concerned with building some core values that help them in building their knowledge. Analysing ethical values and implementing them in the work helps the team to manage the project adequately. The value is followed by the vision that helps them in creating a vision for completing any goal. Appropriate vision enables the probability of achieving the objectives as decided. The third feature is defined as a voice that helps in explaining the vision statement effectively. A clear explanation of the vision statement by keeping the voice clear will allow the team member to take adequate action following the values addressed elaborated by Mitonga-Monga and Cilliers, (2016). All these factors are dependent of the virtue of ethical leaders as it helps them in acting effectively as per the situation.

Following the 4V model of ethical leadership provides an opportunity to a leader in creating an environment that allows the team member to understand all the objectives adequately as per Bedi (2016). In this way, ethical leaders always respect other and value their opinion that encourages team member. They possess the quality of being honest that is must build a trustworthy relationship with the team. These leaders convey all the facts with more transparency without any fear and that makes them popular. Ethical leadership also works for building their team so the productivity and work efficiency can be improved. The core concepts of ethical leaders are explained effectively (Ethical leadership, 2016). On the other hand, the four major similarities between ethical and authentic leadership are that they are highly concerned for others, role modeling, integrity, and ethical decision making. Ethical leaders are highly focused on moral management and other awareness whereas, authentic leaders are self-aware and authentic.

For example, Bill Gates is highly focused on the one thing that is done adequately. Other than that, Gates also set an example of providing a clear vision that is easy and approachable stated by Miller, (2018). It helps the team to implement an adequate strategy so productivity can be improved. Gates have to ability to encourage the group member to adopt creativity in all their work.


            It has been seen in the essay that ethical and authentic leaders possess the same qualities in some places. Both are honest and transparent with others that helps in building trust and loyalty among team members. Ethical leaders follow some set of ethics and values that is implemented by them in every work. Authenticity is all about self-awareness, balanced processing, genuineness, and transparency. In this way, the importance of authentic and ethical leadership in future leadership practice is elaborated.


Books and Journals

Bedi, A., Alpaslan, C.M. and Green, S., 2016. A meta-analytic review of ethical leadership outcomes and moderators. Journal of Business Ethics139(3), pp.517-536.

Copeland, M.K., 2016. The impact of authentic, ethical, transformational leadership on leader effectiveness. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics13(3), p.79.

du Plessis, M. and Boshoff, A.B., 2018. Authentic leadership, followership, and psychological capital as antecedents of work engagement. Journal of Psychology in Africa28(1), pp.26-32.

Fox, C., Davis, P. and Baucus, M., 2020. Corporate social responsibility during unprecedented crises: the role of authentic leadership and business model flexibility. Management Decision.

Lee, J.J., Cho, J., Baek, Y., Pillai, R. and Oh, S.H., 2019. Does ethical leadership predict follower outcomes above and beyond the full-range leadership model and authentic leadership?: An organizational commitment perspective. Asia Pacific Journal of Management36(3), pp.821-847.

Mitonga-Monga, J. and Cilliers, F., 2016. Perceived ethical leadership: Its moderating influence on employees’ organisational commitment and organisational citizenship behaviours. Journal of Psychology in Africa26(1), pp.35-42.

Olaniyan, O.S. and Hystad, S.W., 2016. Employees’ psychological capital, job satisfaction, insecurity, and intentions to quit: The direct and indirect effects of authentic leadership. Revista de Psicología del Trabajo y de las Organizaciones32(3), pp.163-171.

Özbağ, G.K., 2016. The role of personality in leadership: Five factor personality traits and ethical leadership. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences235, pp.235-242.

Shakeel, F., Kruyen, P.M. and Van Thiel, S., 2019. Ethical leadership as process: A conceptual proposition. Public Integrity21(6), pp.613-624.

Shapiro, J.P. and Stefkovich, J.A., 2016. Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Sharma, A., Agrawal, R. and Khandelwal, U., 2019. Developing ethical leadership for business organizations. Leadership & Organization Development Journal.

WILLIAMS, J.J. and Seaman, A.E., 2016. The influence of ethical leadership on managerial performance: Mediating effects of mindfulness and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Applied Business Research32(3), p.815.

Yasir, M. and Mohamad, N.A., 2016. Ethics and morality: Comparing ethical leadership with servant, authentic and transformational leadership styles. International Review of Management and Marketing6(4S).


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