Leading Ethically is the New Leading

All of us who lead and develop leaders need to be tuned in to the “New Leading.”  To embrace the “New Leading,” we need to realize that leadership and ethics are joined in important ways.

Many leaders have traditionally thought of ethics and leadership as separate. That fragmented way of thinking is part of why we’ve reached a point where there are so many examples of ethical violations in the news.

What Really Happens When We Separate “Leading” From “Ethically?”

When you separate “leading” from “ethically,” you get a form of  “leadership” that ignores responsibility to others and would look like this:

  • greedy
  • callous
  • harmful
  • insensitive
  • controlling
  • lax about safety
  • overly demanding
  • refusing to change
  • and other unsavory things.

…and a general lack of concern for…

  • other people
  • the community
  • the environment
  • natural life
  • responsible business practices
  • and the long-term good of society

How Is “Leading Ethically” Different From “Leading” in General?

Leading Ethically isn’t different from “Leading” at all.

It’s an integrated view of leadership that incorporates ethical thinking and ethical behavior.

It’s a view that keeps the “responsibility” in leadership.

It’s a kind of leadership that acknowledges that there are other constituents that matter and that how we treat them defines us as leaders.

It’s a broad set of evolving expectations for how to lead responsibly in a global society.

It’s not different from leadership.  It is the new leadership. It’s leadership done responsibly in a global society.

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC. All rights reserved.

Linda Fisher Thornton is CEO/Owner of Leading in Context, a leadership development firm providing leadership development materials in an ethical context.

You are invited to access the full benefits that Leading in Context provides to customers and subscribers:


About Linda Fisher Thornton
Author of 7 Lenses, Speaker, Bringing Out the Best in People and Organizations Through Proactive Ethical Leadership, CEO Leading in Context, 2014 Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior, Adj. Assist. Prof. of Ethics and Leadership, UR SPCS

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