Martin Luther King Jr as a Leader - Paper Example

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Harvey Mudd College
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Select a Leader who you feel has exhibited exemplary ethical conduct to do the following:

Martin Luther King Jr. is one of the leaders who exhibited exemplary ethical conduct. He was an iconic figure, especially through his efforts on African American civil rights movement. Kings relentless message on racial equality played a significant role in eradicating legal discriminations that had been labeled against African Americans in the American South. King's activism was characterized by the themes of peace and equality in the society, which were key ethical elements in his leadership.

Discus Two Ethical Traits that your chosen Leader has demonstrated

Courage is one of the ethical leadership trait demonstrated by Martin Luther King Jr. during the struggle for the liberation of the blacks against the oppressive practices. His historic achievements on behalf of the civil rights movements championing for the welfare of all Americans were motivated by religious and ethical beliefs. King demonstrated courage in his convictions which enabled him to be relentless in fighting for equality and peace through his activism (Seattle Times Staff, 2011). King did not shy away from denouncing social and economic injustices in the country. His courage strengthened his followers.

Martin Luther King Jr. was also a selfless leader. King demonstrated the traits of servant leadership when he chose to be the head of the Civil Rights Movement. He put the interests of the people he was leading first. When he decided to become an activist for the oppressed and discriminated African Americans, he knew the task ahead of him was not easy but he did not abandon his mission. He was committed to improving the welfare of his people (Sharman, 2007). King will be remembered as a servant leader who cared and fought for the rights (equality) of his followers.

Explain how the chosen Leader has exhibited Ethical Conduct.

Dr. Kings leadership was an emblem of ethical conduct. His leadership was key to the ending of racism and sexism which paved the way for multicultural societies in the United States. He championed for the eradication of the inferiority complex labeled against African American people thus achieving the reconciliation goal among different communities in the country (Sharman, 2007). The leader used his scholar skills and intelligence to push for the liberation of the marginalized people. I have a dream,' is one of his speeches that inspired his followers to subscribe to his ideologies. He was a leader with integrity who focused on improving the lives of his people.

Kings ethical leadership was mainly demonstrated in the civil rights movement. He was a selfless and courageous leader who sacrificed a lot for the sake of his people. For example, when King was 26 years old, he protested (dubbed bus boycott) the arrest of Rosa Parks. He was appointed to be the spokesperson for the boycott. However, his house was bombed, bringing him significant losses. King endured numerous arrests as well as harassments from the authority (Seattle Times Staff, 2011). There were several attempts on his life but remained focused on his course. Regardless of the risks associated with leading various civil rights movements, King remained steadfast to achieve his goals for the people he represented. This was an act of courage. His faith and determination changed the society.

Analyze the Dilemma found in the Scenario from both the Consequentialist and deontological perspectives.

Also referred to as moral dilemmas, ethical dilemmas are those situations where decisions are made between two possible moral imperatives: None of such options resolves the incidence in an ethically acceptable manner. Ethical dilemmas can be addressed through various approaches such as consequentialist and deontological perspectives. Apparently, consequentialism views the morally right decision as the one that produces the best consequences/results. When faced with a moral dilemma, the consequentialist will consider the outcomes of the decisions made: whether the implications of the actions would be better or worst (Johnson, 2013). According to the consequentialist, individuals should select a decision that maximizes the good result/consequence. Deontological ethics emphasizes the rightness and wrongness of the actions (Deontologist do not focus on the rightness or wrongness of the consequences but rather on the measures themselves). When faced with a moral dilemma, deontologists should ask the question: Which ethical rule is relevant, and what does it prescribe?

Discus Which Level of Cognitive Moral Development is represented in the Scenario for each of the following questions:

What action would be best for society in the long term?

This scenario is representing the post-conventional moral level. Under this level of cognitive moral development, individual judgment is driven by self-chosen principles and the ethical reasoning is based on the rights and justice of a person. People at this stage of typically refine their policies by focusing on the fundamental human rights such as life and liberty (Lerner & Jovanovic, 2016). The post-conventional moral level enables people to discard political and ethical requirements which do not improve the welfare of the greatest number of individuals in the society. It is demonstrated that under this level, a small portion of people will apply ethical principles to benefit themselves.

If I reveal this information, will my company find out and fire me?

This scenario is representing conventional morality level. Under this category, individuals are concerned with the existing rules on codes of conduct. The focus is placed on the current practices and standards that define the acceptable morals within the society. The values are determined in the conformity of the laid rules and regulations. Failure to conform to the set standards will be considered an act of disobedience and amounts to punishment (Lerner & Jovanovic, 2016). For instance, the person, in this case, is likely to be punished (fired) by the company by reaching the contract which bars employees from divulging particular information about the firm to unauthorized parties.

Which course of action would best serve justice?

Both conventional and post-conventional levels of morality can apply to this scenario, depending on ones perception on the definition of justice. According to the stage, four under conventional morality is the aspect of law, authority, and obedience. Applying conventional perspective of moral development, justice is served when individuals abide by given codes of conduct (laws) without compromise (Lerner & Jovanovic, 2016). Justice under post-conventional morality, ethics are defined by the logical implementation of the universal, moral principles which are not necessarily subject to the fixed rules.

Are there any laws that indicate whether I should disclose this information?

This scenario is represented by conventional morality. Apparently, the conventional moral responses perceive ethics regarding abiding by acceptable legal and regulatory frameworks in the context in which an action is exercised.

If I keep quiet, will my company reward me for that?

This question falls under the category of pre-conventional morality. The pre-conventional moral development level, individuals, focus on the pain or pleasure that results from the cause of their actions (Austin, 2010). It follows that the conventional moral responses consider rewards and punishments as possible outcomes of ethics.

Reflect on the Ethical Lens inventory (ELI) by doing the following:

Explain your preferred ethical lens or what it means to have none if you have no preferred ethical lens.

According to ELI, I have realized that my favorite ethical lens is the Right and Responsibility as well as Relation Lens. This implies that I typically strike a balance between my reasoning skills and sense of intuition when determining universal rules for everyone. Through my preferred ethical lens, it is easier to establish the processes which guarantee fairness and justice for the entire community (Bazerman & Tenbrunsel, 2011). This indicates that autonomy and rationality are my two core values. My key concern is protecting and upholding individual rights. I consider this to be the suitable way of ensuring that each person in the society is accorded fair treatment. I also prefer the value of rationality to sensibility, making me believe that the best outcomes are attained through a consistent implementation of universal rules.

Analyze whether you have the same preferred lens in different settings.

My preferred ethical lens is consistent in different settings. Regardless of settings (work, personal or social contexts), responsibility and relation lens remain to be my favorite ethical lens. My perceptions towards ethical practices do not change the situation.

Describe one of the following: Blind spot, risk, temptation or vice in order to make better ethical decisions in future.

My blind spot is unrealistic role expectations. I have the tendencies of being overconfidence in the processes or actions I undertake. I typically believe that consistency in a particular process must yield just results for all. I also believe that every persons motive usually validates their methods when it comes to their thinking and way of doing things. I tend to be honest, fair, committed and loyal to my abilities and assigned tasks.

Discus three steps you can take to mitigate your blind spot

The first step I will take to mitigate my blind spots is being able to identify them. Unrealistic expectations assume the powers that individuals do not necessarily have in a given situation. People cannot always control every aspect of life to ensure they operate consistently in the fairest way. The pressure we endure in life compels us to behave in a particular manner. Such challenges or expectations can have a positive impact, thus motivating a person to deliver the best outcomes. However, unrealistic expectations can ultimately have a negative influence on thoughts, behaviors, and feelings of an individual (Ovul Sezer & Bazerman, 2015). Understanding the sources of unrealistic role expectations and its effects is a vital initial step of relinquishing this blind spot.

The next step to alleviate my blind spot is combatting my overconfidence. It is imperative to understand the limits of my Meta knowledge. Application of this resolution can be challenging since it is not easy to abandon the confidence I have towards my judgments. However, I will be forced to develop an appropriate Meta knowledge. This can be achieved through acknowledging the instances when I am overconfident. This implies that I will have to be accountable for my actions whenever the element of overconfidence occurs. The third step that I will utilize in relinquishing unrealistic expectation is by being flexible and sensitive to the changing situations. Flexibility will loosen my expectations thus purging me of additional pressure linked with high standards of outcomes.

Explain your core values and classical virtue from ELI

Autonomy and Rationality are my core values. My key concern is protecting and upholding individual rights. I consider this to be the suitable way of ensuring that each person in the society is accorded fair treatment. I also prefer the value of rationality to sensibility, making me believe that the best outcomes are attained through a consistent implementation of universal rules. I consider temperance to be my classical value. I prioritize individual balance and limitation in the pursuit of pleasure while seeking to meet my duties.

Discuss how these Core Classical Values compare to the top five values from the Clarifying Your Values exercise, found in the cour...

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