Possibility, Service and Making a Difference

By Linda Fisher Thornton

The Manifesto

Recently, I released the Leading in Context Manifesto, a bold statement about the kind of ethical leadership  that I believe we need to use every day. Today, I want to explore the mindset behind the Manifesto. It opens with this statement about our purpose as leaders:

“We are here to focus on what’s right and what’s possible, not on what’s historical or convenient. We are here to serve others, not to profit from their vulnerabilities. We are here to make a positive difference, through intentional leadership and responsible choices.”

The Leading in Context® Manifesto

Possibility, Service and Making a Difference

The Mindsets

How do these three important mindsets move us toward our goal of being a great leader?



Making a Difference

How do they inform our choices?

What is their effect on our teams and organizations?

The Impact

When we lead for possibility, we reach for the potential of people and organizations. We expect the best of ourselves and others. We accomplish more than we thought we could.

When we lead for service, we see ourselves in a role of making life better for others. We look for ways to do that every day. We lead in ways that improve lives and communities. We do more than we have to do.

When we lead to make a positive difference, we believe that one dedicated leader can have a positive impact, and we continually look for ways to make a difference through our leadership. We think about the legacy we are leaving for future generations.

There’s another important concept mentioned in that statement that cannot be overlooked - doing what is right. It doesn’t stand alone. It’s reliant on the strength of our moral center, and embedded in how we think about the purpose of leadership.

Questions to Ponder : Are we more likely to do what is right when we intentionally Lead For Possibility?; When we Lead For Service?;  When we Lead To Make a Positive Difference?;  How do these mindsets help us make more responsible choices?

About Linda Fisher Thornton

In 2013, Linda was named one of the Global Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior by Trust Across America. Linda’s new book 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership is due out this fall.

Leading in Context provides clear tools for businesses of all sizes for implementing “ethical leadership future.”   For more information, visit leadingincontext.com.

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

2 Responses to Possibility, Service and Making a Difference

  1. Thanks, Jeff. We both believe that we must avoid using a pure profit motive, and balance that quest for profit with responsibility to others. I appreciate your comment.

  2. jeffmowatt says:

    I don’t know which is most appropriate, service or making a difference, for us making other people the ‘bottom line’


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