|Essay type:||Analytical essays|
|Categories:||Personal leadership Leadership style Essays by wordcount|
Jack Dorsey, the Twitter Founder and CEO, is one of the best corporate leaders that are currently in existence. He has consistently displayed exceptional leadership and enabled the company to overcome some difficult times since its foundation. Some of the ethical traits possessed by Jack Dorsey include:
- Empathy and social responsibility
- Honesty and open communication
Dorsey was not afraid to explore the topics of inequality even from his privileged position. Dorsey understands that the society and the world that he lives in is imperfect. He understands that human society is highly unequal. He, therefore, seeks to help the less fortunate in society by donating a share of his wealth to philanthropic courses. He has donated hundreds of millions of dollars to fighting poverty, illnesses, and world pandemics, and helping victims of natural disasters recover. He has always reminded his followers that no those who have the means have a moral obligation to help those who lack the same capacity. He has been encouraging his fellow entrepreneurs and other high-profile individuals to donate to the various efforts to mitigate to help fight poverty all over the world.
The same social responsibility is enforced in his company’s operations. Twitter has undertaken numerous corporate social responsibilities (CSR) that seek to make human society better. Some of the initiatives include being part of the green economy that advocates for and invests in renewable energy to reduce society’s dependence on fossil fuels. These include alternatives such as solar and wind energy. As a leader, it is essential to reflect the ethical standards of the organization, and Dorsey is a reflection of that. Dorsey chooses the oldest and most sustainable means of transport. He walks over five miles daily, to his workplace (Elkins, 2018). They also help get the messages about CSR out to the masses. Various non-profit organizations use Twitter to generate awareness about their services and even get more people to follow their cause.
Also, as part of supporting honesty and open communication, Twitter has chosen to allow some controversial figures to continue using their platform. Dorsey believes in the freedom of expression. That places him at odds with some members of the public. His motto is that everyone has a right to be heard and that we should learn to respect other people’s opinions. That ethical standing has been exemplified on Twitter, which has allowed some individuals to continue using the platform, even though they might have some controversial ideologies. He also welcomes criticisms and feedback as part of standing by his ethics of giving everyone a chance to be heard.
Dorsey’s philanthropic and empathic codes of conduct came into light during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The covid-19 pandemic has left a lot of people vulnerable to health and economic hardships. The measures imposed by the government have left people jobless and without any other means to fend for themselves. As a result, organizations and people have developed relief efforts for covid-19, and Dorsey is one of those that have jumped on born to help families and small business owners deal with the effects of the pandemic (Haynes, 2020). Dorsey has pledged 1 billion dollars to the covid-19 relief funds by using his shares from the company Square. That is an act of selflessness because he has no obligation to do so, but he is choosing to help those affected by sacrificing a considerable amount of his fortune because of the empathy he feels for such people. That demonstrates ethical leadership based on empathy and social responsibility.
Dorsey supports honesty and open communication in every situation that he encounters. For example, back in 2019, a far-right radio show host and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones landed in trouble with various media platforms for his extreme ideologies and message. One of his most famous comments was when he proposed that Jennifer Lopez should go to Somalia where she can get, “gang-raped so fast it will make her head spin,” (Jones, 2018). Such extremist thoughts caused other media platforms such as Facebook and iTunes to block him from using their platforms (Herffernan, 2018). However, unlike the other leaders, Dorsey announced that Alex Jones is still welcome to use Twitter. That shows a person that respects other people’s opinions regardless of whether he agrees with them or not. That is an example of someone that supports open communication and respects the freedom of speech. Shutting Alex Jones down for his views or opinions would have gone against the core principle of the existence of Twitter, which seeks to promote free speech.
I am a believer of consequentialism, where the morality of an action should be determined based on its consequences. Therefore, regarding the dilemma provided, the focus should be on the implications of such actions. In the scenario provided, I have two possible courses of action. The first one would be to honor my employment agreement and fail to disclose the side effect of the artificial joints. The alternative route is to go against the employment agreement and reveal the possible side effects to the customers. As a consequentialist, I will have to apply the theory of utilitarianism that judges the three principles of utilitarianism. Therefore, in order for me to select the course of action that I think conforms to my personal beliefs and attitudes, I will have to answer the following questions.
- Who benefits from the disclosure?
- Who gets the most damage from the non-disclosure?
- Which action benefits the least number of people?
- Which action benefits the least number of people?
According to utilitarianism, the best course of action is one that brings the most happiness to the highest number of people (Mill, 1895). Therefore, I would take the course activities that will bring the most happiness to the highest number of people, based on the answers to the questions above.
The question of who gets to benefit from the non-disclosure should look at both sides of the divide. On the one hand, there are those patients who have benefited from the artificial knee joint. The group is the majority because the medical device only affects a small percentage of those who use it. So, if I disclose the information about the side effects of the device, then the majority of the patients will be negatively affected. At the same time, the minority will be saved from a potentially fatal infection.
As for the second question, the failure to disclose the side effects of the artificial knee continues to affect a small percentage of the patients. They get to be the ones who pay the ultimate price for trusting me as the sales representative and the product that I am selling. However, if I decide to speak up about the adverse side effects of the artificial joint, then there will be many casualties. The first one will be me because I will potentially lose my job. Secondly, the company will take quite a massive hit, and they may have to make compensation to the patients who were negatively harmed by the artificial knee joint. Some of my fellow employees could be rendered jobless due to hard financial times for the company. Third, the company may have to remove its product from distribution, which means a high number of patients may miss out on the treatment. Therefore, a consequentialist will prefer non-disclosure because it keeps most people happy.
However, a deontological point of view would judge an action’s morality based on the action itself rather than the outcome. It is impossible to consider that the scenario has revealed that while my employer’s artificial knee is cheap and reduces the healing time, it is not the only one in the market. That means that the customers will not be left stranded. They may have to pay more and wait longer to heal, but they will eventually get a joint replacement. Therefore, from a consequentialist point of view, I have to weigh on whether the partial suffering of the majority is more substantial than the loss of life of a few patients who might end up succumbing to the infection caused by the artificial knee.
So far, the analysis has indicated that non-disclosure is the one that brings the most happiness to the highest number of people. I get to keep my job, the company keeps its employees on the payroll, and the majority of the patients keep enjoying the benefits of reduced healing time, and reduced cost. However, none of these outcomes are guaranteed. Based on the information provided, there are alternatives to the company’s artificial knee that are present in the market. That means that the absence of my employer’s artificial knee would not prevent people from healing. Also, I cannot guarantee that my workmates will lose their jobs. The only guarantee that emerges from the disclosure is that I will lose my job.
On the other hand, non-disclosure guarantees that a small percentage of patients will be infected, and an even smaller percentage will lose their lives. Therefore, from a deontological point of view, the main question is whether the monetary and time savings for a majority of patients is worth the few lives that will be lost from the lethal infections from the artificial knee joint. A deontological point of view believes that all beings are meaningful, and that means they cannot be traded for other lives or, in this case, partial comfort. A deontologist would conclude that disclosure is the best course of action.
Levels of Cognitive Moral Development
There are three primary levels of cognitive moral development. There is the pre-conventional, conventional, and post-conventional. The pre-conventional level is where morality is controlled by external factors—the individual acts as an agent by conforming to other person’s or people’s instructions. There are two stages in the pre-conventional level. There is the punishment or obedience orientation and the instrumental purpose orientation. The former is where the individual is acting to avoid punishment. That is, they are avoiding the consequences of not conforming to the instructions. The second stage is where an individual is working in pursuit of a reward.
The conventional level is where the individual’s actions are dictated by both self-interest and the relationship to others. While the individual in the conformity level still acts to meet the demands on those in power or the ones giving the instructions, they are also focused on enhancing their relationship with the person or institution, providing the instructions or maintain order. He or she wants to gain the approval of the instruction giver and maintain order. There are also two stages involved in the conventional level. The first one is the good interpersonal relationships orientation, where the individual’s behavior is determined by the social approval that he or she wants to receive. The second stage is the law and order orientation. In the later stage, the individual is concerned with the bigger picture of social rules and regulations. In this stage, the individual genuinely believes that their actions of following the rules are designed to maintain social order.
Finally, the post-conventional or principled level is the final stage. Where the individual to serve needs other than their own. The individual’s perspective extends beyond that of his or her society. An individual at a principled level tries to put themselves in the other person’s situation. The two stages under this level of cognitive moral development are social contract orientation and universal ethical orientation.
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