Leadership Ethics Essay

601 words - 3 pages

Leadership Ethics

As children we are taught the difference between right and wrong very early in life. Knowing the difference doesn’t change in the business world. A lot of times in business, leaders find themselves in situations where they have to choose an ethical or unethical way out. The Ethical Behavior and Social Responsibility slide says, “If it looks, smells, or acts illegal, it probably IS.” I believe in most ethical cases, the individual knows when they are doing something illegal or wrong. Unethical decisions not only ruin careers, but also ruin the reputation of companies, brands, and stakeholders. These leaders’ often make these horrible decisions without thinking things through, and end up losing their job. Is it really worth it?
When I was the Culinary Manager at Red Lobster my goal was to always be consistent and keep food cost percent down. The ...view middle of the document...

We had created different ways to spot check things and made sure we kept track of everything that was wasted. This turned into a great thing for me because I was asked to help other restaurants in my region lower their numbers by sharing best practices.
If I were doing something wrong, this same situation could have been bad for my career. Unfortunately there are many unethical behaviors that could have been taken place to show good results. I could have been decreasing portions sizes, changing recipes’, or even twisting numbers around to make the restaurant look good on paper. In my opinion, it is just not worth it to throw away my career especially when I know right from wrong.

In 2003, Coke agreed to pay $540,000 to former employee who claimed the company inflated its profits and knowingly sold contaminated drinks. Where is the integrity? Coke is one of the top soda companies in the world and is a very popular drink. It is really surprising to see leaders turn their heads on something so major just to make more money. Matthew Whitley was the Finance Manager for coke prior to being fired for whistleblowing. His allegations to the company included conspiracy to cheat shareholders, the managers knew that the frozen drinks machine led to metal residue entering product, and faking a marking test in order to increase sales at Burger King. Whitley expressed that he just wanted the company to take his issues seriously. Coke confessed faked research from the employees at Burger King and paid the company21 million dollars. In the video, the unethical leader seemed to assume that being unethical didn’t apply to management. Ethical behaviors are top down. If upper management is unethical, then basically that is the way the company is ran.
Ethics can make or break a business. Stakeholders’ ethics are important to leaders because they play a huge role in the business. They can be directors, employees, owners, and more importantly they are in the community. As leaders we must have integrity and do the right thing even when you think no one is watching.

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