A virtuous leader leads from the heart. They are not in the business of manipulation rather they want to transform the people who they lead and build their strengths. Being a good leader flows from the core of who you are, if you are not one with virtues you cannot be a good leader. In essence, you cannot give what you do not have.
In my career so far, I have experienced working under a virtuous leader and a leader who is not virtuous. Funnily, the virtuous leader was a woman. I remember when I was starting the job, I had heard a lot of things about women not being nice bosses and I went in with some trepidation. To my surprise, she was an example of a leader who lead with her heart. At the time I didn’t realize it, I just thought she was nice. She encouraged me and acknowledged the work I did in the team and gave me constructive criticism when necessary and when she did, she did not allow me to feel bad for too long.
The leader who was not virtuous believed in leading people with fear. He believed what motivated people was the fear that they could lose their job very easily. Meanwhile, his organisation was a revolving door of employees.
In my current role, as the unit head, I try my best to lead in the way my previous manager led me. I lead from my heart, encourage my team members, let them know that their contributions are valued and I give constructive criticism where necessary. When I appraise my team members, I give a fair appraisal and it is not a unilateral process. It is a discussion with the individual concerned to ensure that what is being represented is true.
A virtuous leader regardless of their religious affiliations or philosophical convictions will do good because they know that if they continually practice virtue, it strengthens their character.