This article introduces the first of two special issues on philosophical approaches to leadership ethics. In it, we show some of the ways that philosophy contributes to the study of leadership and leadership ethics. We begin with an overview of how philosophers have treated some of the ethical aspects and challenges of leadership. These include discussions of self-interest, the problem of dirty hands, responsibility, moral luck, power, gender and diversity, and spirituality. The articles in this issue draw on philosophy to explore a variety of ethical questions related to leadership and the relationships that leaders have with followers and others.