By Junaid Ahmed, East London Mosque

In a world where leaders are constantly under the spotlight, it's evident that leadership transcends just strategy and decision-making. At the core of genuinely impactful leadership lies a foundation built on ethics. These ethical underpinnings dictate the actions and decisions of leaders and influence the culture and values of the organisations and communities they lead.

1. Integrity Above All: Integrity is often cited as the most critical leadership attribute. It's the unwavering commitment to do what is right, even when no one is watching. Leaders with integrity build trust, a fundamental element that fosters collaboration, open communication and loyalty among team members.

2. Responsibility and Accountability: Great leaders take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their teams. They don't shy away from taking ownership of mistakes and are always willing to make amends. This sense of accountability ensures that leaders constantly strive for excellence and instils confidence in those they lead.

3. Fairness and Justice: Treating everyone equitably is a hallmark of ethical leadership. This means making unbiased decisions, providing equal opportunities, and ensuring everyone's voice is heard. Leaders who practise fairness promote a culture of inclusivity and respect.

4. Compassion and Empathy: True leaders understand the importance of human connection. They empathise with the challenges faced by their teams, offer support during difficult times, and celebrate successes together. This compassionate approach ensures that team members feel valued and understood.

5. Transparency and Honesty: In an era of information overload, leaders must prioritise transparency. This involves open communication, sharing information and being honest about challenges. Transparent leadership fosters a culture where everyone feels informed and involved.

Drawing inspiration from the teachings of Islam, we find that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was the epitome of ethical leadership. His life exemplified these principles, from his unwavering integrity to his deep sense of responsibility and compassionate leadership approach. These are exactly the principles we should empower the next generation with and faith too is an important driver in leadership.

The essence of leadership is deeply rooted in its ethical foundations. Leaders who prioritise ethics ensure the success and growth of their organisations and inspire and uplift those around them. As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, we must turn to these timeless principles to guide our leadership journey.