Corresponding Author

Verl Anderson


The focus of this paper is on explaining how leaders can follow the path of self-improvement by more fully understanding their moral identity. We begin by briefly reviewing excerpts from the literature about personal development and self-awareness to lay a foundation for the importance of leaders seeking to achieve their optimal effectiveness. Following that introduction, we introduce a new definition of moral identity that builds upon identity theory as developed by Peter Burke and Jan Stets (2009). We then identify nine traits that link moral identity and leadership. Integrating moral identity with the pursuit of personal excellence, we identify twelve insights about the leader’s responsibility to honor moral duties owed to those individuals whom they serve. Following that review, we then suggest six significant contributions of this paper for both academic scholars and individuals who seek to become more honorable leaders and conclude the paper with suggestions about opportunities for additional research about moral identity and its importance for leaders.

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