This article clarifies the relationship between moral personhood and moral management in ethical leadership from a Confucian perspective. Drawing from four Confucian classics, this study integrates the leader’s ethical values and activities undertaken to promote virtues in followers. The harmonisation of moral personhood and moral management is facilitated by two cardinal Confucian beliefs: innate human nature and moral self-cultivation. From a Confucian viewpoint, all human beings are endowed with a good nature that enables them to become virtuous persons and leaders. Ethical leaders subdue their selfish desires and extend their natural moral feelings of true goodness, righteousness, propriety and wisdom to others. Moral personhood and moral management are inseparable because to cultivate oneself morally is to help others to become moral persons. By synthesising moral personhood and moral management, a Confucian worldview of ethical leadership contributes to leadership studies in two main ways: safeguarding against the leader’s abuse of power, and advancing organisational change through path-shaping.