Who Teaches Ethical Leadership?

Who teaches ethical leadership and why is this not a priority?

I‘m going to come clean and simply admit that I cannot provide you with the clarity you deserve nor clearly answer my own question. Why? After thirty-seven years in business, I find it very difficult to share good examples of ethical leadership being taught and emphasized as a core value. That’s right…….in every organization I have ever worked or consulted for making money is the priority and how that is achieved hardly matters.

In a previous blog, I addressed the difficulty of conquering ethics and what leaders must confront…….”Conquering Ethics Is Like Climbing a Huge Mountain.” Trust me, the ethical issues confronting today’s leaders have not subsided. Some MBA programs are beginning to tackle ethical issues and combining this with helping leaders build values-based cultures. Some means a handful.

Our faith communities attempt through scripture and continuing education to talk about morality, ethics, and making quality choices. Some of it is helpful and resonates with those who take these lessons to heart. A few corporate boards make it a priority to hire leaders who live their values and incorporate them into building winning teams. Flooded with new compliance and regulatory laws, only a few manage to weave ethical wands through the leadership team and teach what matters the most.

It comes from self, it starts with a purpose in life, and a commitment to build the strongest moral compass possible.

What is the best source to learn ethical leadership? It comes from self, it starts with a purpose in life, and a commitment to build the strongest moral compass possible. It is an exercise and journey that will take our entire lives. It takes raw honesty, accountability, and humility that drips with daily sweat. We are chosen as leaders by others who see evidence of values and virtues. It is up to us live these to the best of our abilities and make others better.

Leaders teach, enrich, and develop others to be successful and accountable. This is the ethical function we must willingly embrace or be tossed to the wrong side of the road. Today and every day is an opportunity for all of us to review our ethical standing as leaders. We cannot afford to wait hoping that we will be taught what to do, how to do it, and what the right things to do are.

My friends, please remember this: respect, consideration, and courtesy matter a lot. Treat others fairly, decently, and equally. Build your moral compasses carefully and always monitor them daily. You know the battle cry: do your best each day. No one can ask more or less from any of us.

All the best/blessings, Mark

Mark Faris
Mark Faris
MARK was born in New York City and currently lives in Minneapolis. He attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he graduated with a B.A. in sociology and speech communications. His entire career spanning 36 years has been in executive sales, marketing, business development, and organizational strategy. He has started and owned three businesses, including a $23 million computer networking company, started up two new sales divisions for publicly telecommunication/data companies including Sprint/Nextel, and was a Board Member for a $225 million U.K. technology manufacturer and distributor. He currently is President of MPV Ethics, LLC., an ethics training and consulting company working with organizations to build better ethical cultures. Mark also has the unique distinction of being convicted for two felonies: mail/wire fraud and money laundering and spent eleven months in a federal prison and halfway house returning to his family in June 2010. He has given over 150 presentations to high school students, universities, B-schools, law schools, and professional audiences regarding the importance of personal and business ethics in our lives. At the core of his renewed philosophy is identification of purpose, building a strong moral compass that helps us effectively deal with dilemmas of all types and sizes. His passion to teach, enrich, and develop others be successful , accountable, and improving the lives of others.


  1. Applying the concept of ethics to our own work depends on each of us. There are external conditions, nor any other person from whom depends our ability to exercise our role in an ethical manner. This awareness reveals our courage and importance that actually eah one attaches to this value. Everyone is responsible for how his role plays ethically. And there are so many small gestures, so many “micro-decisions” that lead us to be recognized as ethical leaders. Of this we must have profound awareness to avoid wasting energy, in what we call the apology factory, sterile research of justifications. Being an ethical leader is tiring, requires courage and tenacity, but the results you can achieve are far superior, and they have something extraordinary in themselves, so it’s worth trying.