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Running head: COMPETENT, PURPOSEFUL, AND ETHICAL LEADERS

The Development of Competent, Purposeful, and Ethical Leaders


Melissa Sheldon
Siena Heights University Graduate College

COMPETENT, PURPOSEFUL, AND ETHICAL LEADERS

The Development of Competent, Purposeful, and Ethical Leaders


The mission of Siena Heights University (SHU) is to develop competent, purposeful, and
ethical individuals in various concentrations of study. Effective leaders are competent,
purposeful, and ethical in both their words and actions. These words and actions inspire and
motivate others to achieve greatness. Each SHU graduate has the potential to become a leader in
their field if they choose to as they will leave their academic studies with a solid foundation
designed to thrust them upward within any organization. This paper will explore each aspect of
the Universitys mission and how it relates to the concept of leadership.
Students crave knowledge and aspire to become competent in a particular field of study
while attending any voluntary type of post-secondary training. Andrew Dubrin (2016) discusses
competent leaders as individuals who possess knowledge of their business or departmental
functions. Technical job proficiency and a deep understanding of how the business functions is
key to developing meaningful relationships and establishing trust with subordinates. It can
become problematic for leaders that lack technical ability to establish a bond with their
subordinates as it will be obvious that they lack necessary skills. Subordinates expect their leader
to be able to assist when needed with the workload, provide direction, and contribute significant
ideas regarding their day to day operation. SHU ensures that each graduate is competent in their
chosen field of study by providing practical knowledge, hands-on experience, and the foundation
for critical thinking and research abilities. Students are also encouraged to work on team or
group projects to fully understand group dynamics, the importance of flexibility and adaptability,
and how each persons work, or lack of, affects other group members.
In addition to competency in a particular field of study, effective leaders must also be
driven to accomplish goals and wholly dedicated to the mission of the organization of which they

COMPETENT, PURPOSEFUL, AND ETHICAL LEADERS

represent. Effective leaders must be knowledgeable and purposeful in their intentions if they
desire to inspire. Shawn Galloway (2012) stresses that not only must a leader be capable of
inspiring others, they must have the ability to drive their team toward a goal that seems
unreachable. Critical thinking skills are a large part of being a purposeful individual and an
exceptional leader should be able to help people think outside of the box. DuBois, Hanlon, Kerr,
Koch, and Nyatuga (2015) also discuss the ability to inspire others as a key leadership trait,
further addressing the need for purposeful leaders to drive teams toward goals. Acting in a
purposeful, determined manner will allow others to see that the leader is passionate and
unwavering when it comes to accomplishing their goals. In turn, people will be inspired and
motivated to exceed expectations when working for a leader like this.
Developing ethical, honest individuals of strong integrity is the third pillar to SHUs
mission. To act in an ethical manner is to do the right thing even if no one else is present. SHU
encourages the development of this particular personality trait throughout all of their courses in
in a number of ways. The most predominant method that SHU uses to enforce ethical behavior is
their plagiarism policy. The plagiarism policy forces students to be critical thinkers and to
evaluate each source of information that is used in their academic studies and giving credit where
credit is due. It also ensures that each student is responsible for their own work. This is a great a
skill that can go beyond academic studies and into both personal and professional environments.
Bouckenooghe, Raja, and Zafar (2015) discovered that ethical leaders not only helped to save
companies money, it also helped to limit the unethical actions of their followers within the
organization. Ethical leaders lead by example and their followers tend to follow suit.
Galloway (2012) refers to a quote by John Quincy Adams in his article, if your actions
inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. SHU

COMPETENT, PURPOSEFUL, AND ETHICAL LEADERS


pushes their students to be the best possible version of themselves. Competent, purposeful, and
ethical individuals inspire others and encourage them to accomplish more and exceed
expectations. Competent, purposeful, and ethical individuals have the ability to become
exceptional leaders in their chosen field.

COMPETENT, PURPOSEFUL, AND ETHICAL LEADERS

References
Bouckenooghe, D., Raja, U., & Zafar, A. (2015). How ethical leadership shapes employees job
performance: The mediating roles of goal congruence and psychological capital. Journal
of Business Ethics, 129, 251264.
DuBois, M., Hanlon, J., Kerr, N., Koch, J., & Nyatuga, B. (2015). Leadership styles of effective
project managers: Techniques and traits to lead high performance teams. Journal of
Economic Development, Management, IT, Finance and Marketing, 7(1), 30-46.
Dubrin, A. J. (2016). Leadership: Research findings, practice, and skills. Boston, MA: Cengage
Learning.
Galloway, S. (2012). Standing side by side: Principles of effective leadership. Professional
Safety, 57(7), 26-27.