Leader's Ethics Self-Awareness Tool

References:

  1. Defence Ethics Programme (Statement of Defence Ethics)
  2. Duty with Honour (PDF 3.5MB) (Military Ethos)
  3. Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector

Instructions 

The Leader’s Ethics Self-Awareness Tool (LESAT) is a tool for your personal use as a leader. It is not meant to be a survey instrument to gather information from other leaders in your unit. The answers to the questions for each of the different levels below will give you a sense of how you currently perceive ethics in your own leadership and in your unit.   

In answering the questions, the objective is not to express how you think things should be in your unit but how you perceive them to be. Whether you write them down or not, the answers that you provide are meant to assist you in increasing your awareness of how ethics is practiced around you.  They will also assist you in forming an opinion of where you may want to focus your attention to address ethical issues at the individual, internal leadership, or external leadership levels. 

Unit refers to your immediate unit. For example, if you are a military section leader or a civilian supervisor, it means the section for which you are responsible and its members.

Section 1 – Individual Level

This section focuses on your perception of the extent to which members of your unit are commitment to the DND and CF Code of Values and Ethics, Duty with Honour, the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Sector. Answer the following questions based on your personal observations: 

  1. In general, members of my unit demonstrate a commitment to the DND/CAF principles, values and expected behaviours.
  2. The behaviour of the members of my unit is typically in line with "doing the right thing" and does not compromise DND/CAF ethical principles, values and expected behaviours.

Section 2 – Internal Leadership Level

This section focuses on your subordinate leaders’ behaviours and actions to maintain an ethical climate in the workplace or in operations. Within my unit:

  • Leaders treat their personnel with respect and dignity.
  • Leaders provide clear instructions that help promote ethical behaviours.
  • Leaders discuss ethical behaviours and issues during regular communication sessions.
  • Leaders demonstrate concern that task/mission accomplishment is consistent with the DND and CAF ethical principles, values and expected behaviours.
  • Leaders maintain appropriate workload balance and levels of stress.
  • Leaders promote an environment in which subordinates can learn from their mistakes.
  • Leaders ensure unit members are aware of, and are comfortable using, the various channels available to report unethical behaviours or wrongdoing.
  • Leaders create a reprisal-free environment for those individuals in our unit who report unethical behaviours or wrongdoing.
  • Leaders hold accountable members of our organization who behave unethically.

Section 3 – My Own Leadership

This section focuses on your perception of what you do, as the leader of your unit, to foster a work and operational environment that is ethical.

  • I understand and am committed to the DND/CAF ethical principles, values and expected behaviours.
  • I communicate my expectations regarding ethical behaviours in my unit, and require subordinates to perform tasks in an ethical manner.
  • I discuss ethical principles and obligations in orientation sessions when I welcome new members to my organization.
  • I encourage discussions of ethical issues in meetings, seminars and workshops.
  • I encourage unit members to raise ethical questions and concerns to the chain of command or, if necessary, other individuals.
  • "Maintaining a healthy ethical climate in my organization" is one of my unit’s goals and objectives.
  • I regularly assess the factors of ethical action in my unit.
  • I consider ethical behaviours in performance evaluations, awards, and promotion recommendations.

Section 4 – External Leadership Level

This section focuses on your perception of leaders who are your superiors and peers do to foster a work and operational environment that is ethical, and that affects the members of your unit. 

  • My superiors communicate their expectations regarding ethical behaviours in the organization that includes my unit.
  • My superiors demonstrate concern that task/mission accomplishment is consistent with the DND/CAF ethical principles and obligations.
  • My superiors promote an environment in which subordinates can learn from their mistakes.
  • I feel comfortable bringing up ethical issues with my immediate superior.
  • My peers take ethical behaviours seriously.

Section 5 – Conclusion

A healthy unit ethical climate is one in which stated Defence ethical principles and values are routinely expressed, supported, practiced and respected. Leaders should periodically assess the ethical climate in their unit and take appropriate actions to maintain the high ethical standards expected in the DND/CAF. The LESAT can assist leaders in informally reflecting on the state of ethics in their unit by capturing their respective perception at different levels that affect that unit: individual, internal leadership, external leadership, and the leader’s impression of his own leadership.

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