>>>>We Were Just Following Orders

We Were Just Following Orders

For me, all leadership starts with the core of ethics and morality.  In his article, “The Moral Foundation of Extra-Ordinary Leadership,” James Clawson discusses the idea that true change facilitation must be founded in morality and ethics. (Clawson, pp. 4, 2001) 

In fact, he states that four key principles underscore this form of leadership, Truth-telling, Promise-keeping, Fairness, and Respect for the Individual.  In my work, I focus on Respect for the Individual as a form of Servant Leadership.

When a leader remembers to respect the people under him or her and those of all other stakeholders, extra-ordinary leadership can flourish.  For example, in the Army Leadership Manual, 22-100, the Department of the Army clearly states that morality and ethics must underlie leadership under difficult conditions.

Another example of forgetting this is the Nuremburg defense, “We were just following orders.”  Knowing and respecting the individual as well as remember the rest of the ethical foundations ensures that the team and organization can perform under extremely difficult conditions. 


Clawson, James G. (2001) “The Moral Foundation of Extra-Ordinary Leadership” Darden University Publishing: University of Virginia 

Department of the Army (DA) (1999).  Field Manual Number 22-100: Army Leadership, Be, Know, Do.  Washington DC:  HQ Dept. of Army.

By | 2007-06-20T07:23:55+00:00 June 20th, 2007|Justice|0 Comments

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