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The Power Corruption Cycle: Leader Traits, Emotional Intelligence

You have been asked to teach ethics to a group of managers. In one part of this course you will be discussing "corruption and ways to prevent its occurrence."

Describe the way mishandling power can lead to corruption and how occurs in organizations today. Use an example to illustrate it from your research.

What is emotional intelligence? How is it related to leadership? How is emotional intelligence related to different leadership traits? What leadership traits might prevent corruption, or promote it? How might training and development in the area of emotional intelligence and leadership prevent corruption and unethical behavior from developing in organizations?

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Leader Traits, Power and Corruption

The leadership process is centered on influence. In order to influence others to behave a certain way or commit to organizational goals, leaders use power. Since powerful leaders can have a big impact on the organization and its members, it is critical that leadership be ethical (Yukl, 2006). Below is a list of unethical practices that leaders should steer clear of:

1. Gratifying personal needs and career goals
2. Preference for favorites/alliances
3. Claiming personal vision as organizational vision
4. Taking short cuts in order to achieve personal goals
5. Avoiding important decisions that carry personal risk
6. Distorting issues in order to influence followers
7. Suppressing criticism
8. Blocking development of subordinates so there are no challenges to leadership (Yukl, 2006)

In order to curb the possibility of misuse of power, ethical practices in leadership and organizations are essential. It isn't uncommon to hear of powerful leaders derailing ethically at the pinnacle of their careers. The temptation to abuse the leader's power simply becomes too great. Leaders that behave unethically have some common traits: they are not focusing on organizational goals, they are focused on personal gratification, they involve others within the organization in their unethical actions, they attempt to cover-up their unethical behavior, and they become delusional in their attempts to excuse their unethical actions (Ciulla, 2003).

An example of unethical leadership can be found in the case of John Gutfreund and Salomon Brothers. Gutfreund, through his ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses why leaders and organizations must follow ethical standards. Leader power can easily lead to corruption. This solution also discusses the concept of emotional intelligence and the importance of high emotional intelligence in ethical leadership. 890 words, 4 references.