Leadership, in one sense, is a balance between being likable and respected for your integrity. The disparity between these extremes is exaggerated when the ethical standards of the leader and followers are at odds. To be fully “liked” by their followers, a leader would have to change his standards to match theirs.
On the other hand, when an ethical corporate culture exists, everyone is on the same level and empowered to keep each other accountable. In such a situation, a leader is respected if he takes the high road when facing an ethical crossroads.
Like a common vision unites the efforts of a team, a common set of values will guide them in constructive dialogue and decision-making. A leader can be both respected and liked when the ethical standards are high for every member of the group.
- Komives, S. R., Lucas, N., & McMahon, T. R. (2009). Exploring leadership: For college students who want to make a difference. John Wiley & Sons.