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For many, watching or reading about the news is a frustrating exercise. Ethics seems to have fallen by the wayside as we witness leaders who stand for and believe in things many people find abhorrent. Money, greed and power seem to drive many of these people, and perhaps it is time for the world to collectively protest and demand ethical leadership.
We discuss ethics in Leadership is Upside Down. Ethics refers to the set of moral values and principles that guides morally and enables people to differentiate between right and wrong. The three aspects that help define ethics are values, judgment and congruency.1
A life lived with integrity, even if it lacks the trappings of fame and fortune, is a shining star in whose light others may follow in the years to come.
Ethics may not be the first thing that comes to mind in today’s fast-paced, competitive business environment. We see examples of leaders abusing power practically every day. The toll this kind of behaviour exacts on the humans who work under these leaders can be enormous. Don’t we all deserve ethical leaders?
It isn’t enough for leaders to state their values--they have to demonstrate these values in their everyday interactions. Having a high ethical standard means you have the self-awareness to understand how society is judging you and if you are leading the principles you support and believe in.
When you take time to reflect on what values are important to you, you can improve your performance as a leader.
You can also:
Leaders with a high level of performance are confident and they are able to self-reflect, say no when an action compromises their integrity, and they are role models to others around them. When the brain and body work together to form a strong, ethical foundation, your decision-making skills and resourcefulness will improve.
1. Damiano S, Cubeiro JC, de Haas T. Leadership is Upside Down: The i4 Neuroleader Revolution. About my Brain Institute. 2014.
2. De Dreu CKW, Scholte HS, van Winden FAAM, Ridderinkhof KR. Oxytocin tempers calculated greed but not impulsive defence in predator-prey contests, Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience 2015; (10)5, 721–728,
These Stories on Performance
Founder & CEO
About my Brain Institute
Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist, filmmaker and creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology.
Silvia's scientific background and curiosity about the human brain led her to a decade long journey of research into optimal brain functioning and the application of neuroscience in leadership and daily life. Her past and current roles have uniquely prepared her for the current undertaking, that of leadership activist & change agent.
Silvia Damiano founded The About my Brain Institute in 2009, with the purpose of democratising leadership & neuroscience. She has a passionately held belief, that leaders in our 21st century global economy and their organisations must radically change long-held ideas of what constitutes effective leadership
In her ground-breaking books ‘Leadership is Upside Down’, ‘Brain-Friendly Leadership’ and the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’, Silvia provides both compelling evidence and explores the importance of leadership in our personal and professional lives and what it takes to develop the human behind the leader.
Silvia has worked in different countries, across many industries, helping teams and organisations improve business performance. Silvia’s clients have described her as a passionate, dynamic, a highly experienced speaker and master facilitator on the topics of Emotional Intelligence, Cultural Change, Neuroleadership & Engagement.
Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.
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