I have been privileged to work in the U.S. Navy. My tenure in this job instilled in me, the ability to understand the close connection between sound work ethic and leadership. I have come to appreciate the importance of leadership and fundamental principles such as integrity and mutual trust, as indispensable values to proper naval operations.
The role of leadership in establishing the culture within the organization
Leadership is a key ingredient in the establishment of ethical culture in the navy. Leadership sets and upholds the required standard of behavior through hierarchical accountability, and the creation and ratification of policies which define and sanction sailors’ behavior. This stipulation means that leadership upholds an acceptable standard of behavior which the U.S. citizens expect of all their disciplined forces.
Leadership also aligns and calibrates cardinal ethical principles to bring about uniformity in value-addition, in the face of the diversity in the U.S. Navy. The ethical principles define, qualify and limit the yardsticks of officers’ operations, with regard to morality, and the specific roles and responsibilities each service member owes each unit (Light, 2012).
How power and motivation relate to the degree of ethical conduct
The rank or portfolio each officer occupies has powers and tools of motivation commensurate to itself. Senior Navy officers wield the power to reward or censure good or bad behavior among the staff under them. This observation is to mean that the chain of command has the responsibility of ensuring that all officers meet the standard required of them.
Reflections on the corporate culture with respect to the practice of ethics within the organization
I also came to learn that exercising leadership is not the only hinge upon which desired ethical standards turn. Instead, principles such as integrity and mutual trust are fundamental to the observation of the required ethical standards. Integrity sustains a favorable environment for professional Sailors’ thriving and allows the Navy to work as a team. Integrity allows mutual trust to exist. All naval officers must believe one another. Without trust, delegation of authority cannot take place. Leadership is nevertheless important because it perpetuates these principles.
Light, M. F. (2012). The Navy’s moral compass. Naval War College Review, 65(3), 13