According to Martin Seligman, some core virtuous values influence ethical behavior and appear to have universal appeal. These are −
Wisdom and Knowledge
The talent to gather information and convert it to something useful is a great quality. Wisdom is capitalizing one’s experience to interpret information and being knowledgeable to produce wise decisions. A prerequisite to be knowledgeable is knowing what to do and being able to differentiate between the right and wrong.
It is important to have the ability to avoid unethical temptations. The decision to take the ethical path needs enough commitment to the value of good ethics. Ethical people usually say “no” to the individual gain if it is irrelevant to institutional benefit and goodwill.
Justice and Fair Guidance
Fair treatment of people is important. Justice is served when a fair return is gained in return for the energy and effort expended. Certain individuals give special treatment without regard to objective criteria by which to judge fairness.
It is the recognition of something beyond oneself more permanent and powerful than the self. When one lacks transcendence, he may tend towards self-absorption. Leaders motivated by self-interest and the exercise of personal power have limited effectiveness and authenticity.
Love and Kindness
The expression of love and kindness is always productive. Research shows that there are different types of “love.” In an organizational context, love means intense positive reaction to co-workers, groups and/or situations. An organization “with heart” allows love, compassion and kindness among and between people.
Courage and Integrity
It is important to have the courage to act ethically and with integrity. These values let us decide right from wrong and acting accordingly. They impel one to act in the right manner without considering personal consequences, even when it is tough and needs benevolence.