Can being too kind backfire? Ethics, Trust and Kindness in Leadership | Center for Leadership | Florida International University | FIU
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Can being too kind backfire? Ethics, Trust and Kindness in Leadership

Can ethical leaders get ahead? Do they get results? Whether in business or government, should you really trust someone who says, “Just trust me”? When can a leader’s kindness backfire? Three globally recognized Florida-based scholars will each share insights from their research on these topics and the leadership implications at The 2019 Leadership Research Colloquium hosted by the Center for Leadership at FIU. 

This year’s Colloquium theme is on Ethics, Trust and Kindness in Leadership and will be held April 9, 2019. The colloquium will feature the latest research on leadership topics such as the role of trust in leadership, the impact of ethical leadership, and the breakthrough research done by The Center’s research team that examines the similarities between leadership and parenting.

“At a time when many are questioning the real hidden values, ethics, and trustworthiness of leaders, researchers are learning more every day about the importance of leadership from a social science standpoint,” says Dr. Nathan J. Hiller, academic director for the Center for Leadership and a Colloquium presenter. “Many people believe that kindness and trust are generally positive leadership attributes. But the real answer is not so simple. Sometimes focusing on ethics is dangerous or can have a downside or it may not have an influence for quite a while,” says Dr. Hiller.

A who’s who of experts

The 2019 Colloquium will bring together leading researchers who are encouraging honest conversations about the tough issues in leadership, how some leaders are making a difference by doing certain things better, and the subtle and not-so-subtle costs that a leader might pay when trying to buck the trends:

  • Cecily Cooper, associate professor, University of Miami School of Business, will explore trust transference, social influence, and the development of trust in new executive leaders. 
  • Craig Crossley, associate professor of business management at the University of Central Florida, will discuss whether leaders who behave ethically can have a positive impact on employee ethics, company performance, and their own career outcomes.
  • Nathan Hiller, associate professor of Global Leadership and Management at Florida International University and academic director of the Center for Leadership at FIU will examine the “paternalistic leadership” that occurs when leaders think of their role as a well-intentioned authority figure.

Dynamic audience-driven Interaction

The Colloquium not only presents the latest research on leadership, it also provides a forum for the audience to ask clarifying questions of the panel and share their thoughts on the ideas presented.  “By examining real-world issues and high-quality empirical research, we can have a nuanced discussion that will help leaders be more sophisticated in their thinking and actions – and ultimately become more effective in leading in a complex and fast-paced world.”   



About the writer

Jeff Zbar
South Florida native Jeff Zbar has enjoyed a 30-plus year freelance career as a journalist, editor, author, and marketing copywriter. His portfolio of print and digital work appears in media outlets and for corporate clients across all areas of business and industry.