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Ethics in the Workplace: the Role of the Spiritual Educational Leader

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Ethics in the Workplace: The Role of the Spiritual Educational Leader

Joel D. Floyd

EDUC 740

Spring Semester 2012

Liberty University Online

Ethics in the Workplace: The Role of the Spiritual Educational Leader

In the current climate of educational institutions throughout the Western World, the role of ethics among those who coin themselves as educational leaders, specifically school administrators, teachers, professors and so on remains an imperative topic in American society. What is about ethics in the educational arena that causes various philosophical ideologies to emerge among those who play a significant role in education and among those who do not? In order to properly deal with this question, one must begin with a general description of the term ethics. Accordingly, "Ethics is a study of human behavior as a consequence of beliefs about what is right or wrong, or good or bad, insofar as that behavior is useful or effective" ("philosophy.lander.edu", 2012). If this is the case, one can easily understand how the role of ethics in education is important to the intended outcome regarding the traditional beliefs about education in America. However, the challenge emerges among educational leaders because the endurance of their professional careers relies on making ethical decisions.

The core of making ethical decisions then starts with one's conscience. Rebore (2001) notes, "Conscience is that essential human dimension that prompts everyone to make correct ethical decisions. It may be described in one of two ways: as an inclination or instinct that helps a person to decide how to act in relation to a particular ethical dilemma or a skill, acquired through experience that a person uses to make an informed judgment" (p. 31). While there are fundamental tenants of what it means for educational leaders making ethical decisions, the author's intended purpose for this paper is to discuss suggested ethical characteristics of the "spiritual" educational leader. In the sense of this term, a spiritual educational leader is one who models his ethical making decision based solely upon biblical and practical principles couched in the Christian belief system. The ethical principles discussed are: The hand of God, integrity, a successful track record, preparation, humility, and courage, and optimism.

God's Hand

The reliance on ethical spiritual principles begins with the spiritual school leader's understanding that their work begins and ends with God. The leader understands that it is God who anoints him or her to fulfill the task that he has called the leader to in the educational arena. The leader must be willing to following God's law in fulfilling his or her professional tasks. Blackabay and Blackabay (2011) note how, "[Moses] could not attribute his success to his own leadership abilities, for he was not a naturally gifted leader" (p. 155). The only way that Moses could be used spiritually to lead's God's chosen people was because of the power of God that rested upon his life. The spiritual leader must understand that the hand of God upon his or her life is a sure determiner that the work that he or she is doing in the field of education is to bring solely continual glory to God's name. The fact that the hand of God plays the driving roll in the spiritual school leader's profession speaks to the book of Colossians 3:23-24 where it states, " Whatever may be your task, work at it heartily (from the soul), as [something done] for the Lord and not for me, knowing [with all certainty] that it is from the Lord [ and not from men] that you will receive your inheritance which is your [real] reward. [The One Whom] you are actually serving [is] the Lord Christ (the Messiah)." The spiritual leader must further understand that his or her work must be performed in a way that brings honor to God at all times. When the leader understands this important truth according to Colossians and is willing to follow it, this then becomes the foundation of being able to make ethical decisions in the workplace that pleases and brings honors to God's name and where those around the leader can identify the work of God in the life of the spiritual school leader. A Successful Track Record Having a successful track record begins with obedience to God through the power of the Holy Spirit. Blackabay and Blackabay argue that, "The problem with many would-be leaders is they want people's respect without first establishing a successful history" (p. 167). If the spiritual school leader is to establish a successful track record, then he or she must maintain a lifestyle of ethical behavior according to biblical principles. A sure way of others in society being able to trust the leader is by carefully assessing the various decisions that he or she has made throughout his or her career in various situations where ethics played a key role in a particular situation. The book of Genesis 39: 1-6 reveals how the Joseph a young Hebrew slave successful track record attained him favor with God and his slave owner, Potiphar. In the story, Joseph is strongly pursued by Potiphar's wife in a sexual manner. She looks upon him with lust and attempts to get him to lie with her. Instead of giving into her trap, Joeseph took off and ran, maintaining his track record with the understanding that he could not allow himself to partake in any behavior that dishonored the God of Israel. The narrative goes on to explain how, in her

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