Senior leadership ‘set the tone’ by referring to the values and expectations of the company when they address employees – and by living those values too. Ultimately, the actions of leaders speak louder than words. Messages are strengthened when leaders visibly follow the same rules as everyone else.

When we talk about leadership, we don't just mean the chair, CEO, or senior leadership team; leadership is not determined by someone’s seniority or job title. Line managers have an essential role in effectively communicating the organisation’s ethics message and acting as role models for the employees they manage. ‘Tone from the middle’ is as important as ‘tone from the top’. 

Ultimately, everyone can be a leader, in their family, friendship circle, workplace, etc. It is important that everyone in the organisation feels responsible for being a role model and inspire others to live up to high ethical standards. 

Why tone at the top is so important

Simon Webley illustrates how important it is to have ethical leadership

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