James Rest developed a model of ethical behavior, identifying four steps in moral development that lead to ethical action. These have been slightly modified by Robert Prentice and the Center for Leadership and Ethics in their Ethics Unwrapped program.
A leader who is ethical is able to be morally aware (be sensitive to and aware of a moral issue), decide morally (reason morally and make moral judgments), have moral intent (motivated and focused to act morally), and act morally (actually do the right thing).
All four of these steps must be performed for someone to behave ethically.
Takeaway for us: Only elect candidates who consistently follow these steps and act ethically.
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1 — Moral Awareness
- Perceives the ethical dimensions of an issue that one faces
2 — Moral Decision Making
- Has the ability to decide upon a course of action that is ethical
3 — Moral Intent
- Has the desire to act on that ethical decision
4 — Moral Action
- Has the motivation and courage to act upon that desire
Based on teachings by James Rest and Robert Prentice