Monday, March 21, 2011


In class we defined ethical decision making as doing what is right for the greater good. My dad is an example of an ethical leader.

For sixteen years he has served the City of Boston as fire fighter and prior to that he served in the US military. He’s a humble civil servant; always ready to help out on and off the job. He has shown his leadership skills on scene by carrying out whatever task he is assigned, whether it is leading the incident command staff, or being an active team member on the hydrant crew. Any member of his house can attest to this.

I remember when my father took us on a road trip to Disney Land. My sister and I were so excited the whole way there; we barely slept. It was dark outside as we were driving on the highway, and my dad saw a crumpled up car on the side of the road. It was late so there weren’t many people out. My dad pulled off the road immediately to assess the situation. There was a young man stuck in the car, probably in his twenties. My dad pulled him out and laid him on the back seat of our truck while he told my mom to call the paramedics. My dad made sure the young man was as comfortable as possible by removing as much glass as he could from the man’s clothes, tying towels around wounds, and talking him through everything, telling him to breathe through the pain. I remember being scared listening to the man crying out in agony, but I knew he was going to be ok because my dad was the best fire fighter on the job. I will never forget that day; I got to watch my dad save a life. My dad didn’t have to do this but as an ethical leader, he could see how his actions would impact others in a beneficial way.

Adolf Hitler is an example of an unethical leader.

His methods were based only on his moral beliefs; he saw the Aryan race as right and everyone else as wrong. If someone did not fit into the Aryan description they were to be burned, slaughtered, or sent to concentration camps. Because Hitler was acting with his moral compass, he failed to see what was important for the greater good. Killing millions was actually detrimental to the greater good.

Both leaders demonstrated a strong sense of self, which is important. A leader has to know who she is before she can be an example for others. As an emerging leader, I am trying to gain a better sense of myself so I can affect positive change in others.


1 comment:

  1. I like your last paragraph--I was thinking along the same lines about my own sense of self. After the lecture last week I've been thinking more about ethics in my daily life and how I am allowing them to affect my decisions.