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Ethical Leadership And Corporate Social Responsibility

Written by: Santarvis Brown, Senior Level Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

Executive Contributor Santarvis Brown

As society continues to push for social equality and consumers and potential employees alike actively look into corporate policy and choose the companies they support carefully, it is crucial to have clear and socially responsible leadership at the helm. This is an area where I have quite a bit of knowledge, and I want to share with you how I see corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how you can lead ethically and promote positive change in your industry.

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What is CSR?

CSR might not mean the same thing to everyone, but there is one element that is essentially universal across companies and leaders around the country. CSR is often defined as the practices and policies that utilize business ethics and responsibility for the broader “societal good”. If you are wary of the term or haven’t considered incorporating social responsibility into your leadership, you aren’t alone. Despite its increasing importance in the market, corporate policy often continuously shies away from fully embracing CSR.

In addition to the definition above, I think that CSR is also defined by a shift in corporate governance, although perhaps one not yet fully realized. In the past, corporations have moved from a motto of “do no harm” to one instead emphasizing “how can we do good?”

How can you do good while leading? Let’s take a closer look.

Ethics in CSR leadership

Ethical leadership is the cornerstone of CSR. The ethical leader makes decisions based on a variety of principles. These include:

  • Fairness

  • Integrity

  • Honesty

  • Cultural acknowledgement and acceptance

The goal of ethical leadership is to serve as role models within the corporation in question and actively promote a socially aware culture emphasizing ethical behavior across all levels of employment within the business.

Ethical leaders can adopt a few different strategies to promote CSR within their organizations. Primarily, they must represent the kind of employee they want to work with. If you want to work with people who value diversity and inclusion, for example, then you should make it clear both in words and actions that you value diversity and inclusion.

Corporations can also use transparent communication to keep employees and shareholders informed about the company’s progress in CSR efforts. To that end, ethical leaders should build their business strategy around CSR, not try to fit it in as an afterthought. Finally, promoting collaboration and using diverse perspectives to develop comprehensive CSR initiatives in different areas of the company is a great way for ethical leaders to shape their corporate culture.

Benefits of ethical leadership and CSR

Ethical leaders building a corporation that values CSR have a host of potential benefits to consider. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Reputation gains

  • Talent retention and attraction

  • Innovation

  • Risk mitigation

  • Increased stakeholder engagement

By building a business that promotes social responsibility, you will see growth in your company in a variety of ways. And as your efforts to lead ethically bear fruit, your personal reputation as well as your corporation’s reputation will improve in a big way.

Visit Santarvis on his LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for more information.

Santarvis Brown Brainz Magazine

Santarvis Brown, Senior Level Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Dr. Santarvis Brown has spent 15+ years serving as a leader, innovator, and changemaker in education, showcasing in-depth insight as an administrator, educator, and program director. A noted speaker, researcher, and full professor, he has lent his speaking talent to many community and educational forums, serving as a keynote speaker. He has also penned several publications tackling issues in civic service, faith, leadership, and education.



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