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Being Explicit About Virtues: Analysing TED Talks and Integrating Scholarship to Advance Virtues-Based Leadership Development

Toby Newstead ()
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Toby Newstead: Tasmanian School of Business and Economics

Journal of Business Ethics, 2022, vol. 181, issue 2, No 5, 335-353

Abstract: Abstract Virtues, anchored in the ancient and robust philosophy of virtue ethics, inform and enable good leadership. However, we are reticent to speak of virtues within the business domain, which hinders virtues-based leadership development. To demonstrate how virtues inform good leadership, albeit usually implicitly, I analyze 25 TED talks promised to make viewers ‘better’ leaders for direct and indirect reference to virtues. My findings illustrate that virtues are implicitly woven throughout popular leadership discourse, but that they are rarely stated explicitly. This is a problem because to develop virtues they need to be explicitly understood and consciously practiced, which necessitates redressing the reticence to speak of virtues and focusing efforts on educating, training, and developing the virtues that enable good leadership. This article advances virtues-based leadership development by proffering a framework of higher-order virtues that we need to make explicit in efforts to develop good leadership. My discussion of the higher-order virtues integrates evidence from the TED talks and extant scholarship and proposes ways to train and develop each virtue.

Keywords: Leadership development; Good leadership; Virtues-based leadership (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s10551-021-04966-2

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