Should a leader be held accountable to a higher standard of moral and ethical conduct than their employees? This is a compelling question that is raising suspicion, fear, and hackles of many in the workplace and in government. The visible he ‘said – she said’ disputes between President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky have focused this discussion.
Billy Graham, the well known evangelist and confidant to presidents, weighed in and said: “those entrusted with leadership – whatever their field – bear a special responsibility to uphold the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct, both publicly and privately.”[i] The courts have basically said the same thing in terms of sexual harassment and bias. No one should be immune.
[i] Graham, Billy, “The Moral Weight of Leadership,” NY Times, March 17, 1998, p. A 31.