The Power Of Ethical Thinking

6 April, 2020

New leadership theories are about shedding the showmanship and bringing in heart instead, writes Julie Hare in the April issue of Qantas Magazine.

In the article Cranlana alumnus Jerome Reid, Australian Department of Defence – Joint Capabilities Group, talks about his approach to leadership and the power of ethical thinking.

His reality – his certainties and beliefs about the world in which he operates – was recently shaken to its very core. And it came in the form of a course in leadership.

“I’ve always been a utilitarian ethicist – most military officers are. Fundamentally the happiness of the many outweighs the good of the few,” says Reid, who joined the Australian Army as an infantry officer in 1994, and is now the Director of Defence AI and of the Defence Technology Acceleration Centre at the Department of Defence in Canberra.

“I always thought it was an important characteristic of military leadership – to see a problem and make a decision very quickly, not to stagnate with decision paralysis and to take people along with you.”

As an alumnus of Cranlana Centre for Ethical Leadership in Melbourne, Reid’s approach is now radically different. “The course completely deconstructed the entire fabric of my thinking,” he says. “I learnt that if you want to solve complex problems you need a variety of ideals and constructs that feed into it. I realised I needed to rethink my decision-making, shed my biases and rethink my world view.”

Reid “would most certainly” describe himself as an ethical leader. “This idea of protecting our freedoms – as trite as it sounds – is a really fundamental part of who I am. An ethical leader is at pains to question how they live with the contradictions and tensions of leading in a modern organisation and how to do that in an ethically rigorous way. It’s about building a better society.”

Read the full article, pages 156-159, here.

via Qantas Magazine , April 2020

Cranlana’s programs include the 2 day Executive Ethics, 6 day Executive Colloquium and year-long Vincent Fairfax Fellowship. We also deliver online and tailored corporate programs. 

Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash