The Future of Learning Isn’t About “Knowing”

 

learning leader, leadership future, learning future,

By Linda Fisher Thornton

If we want to prepare leaders to handle complex challenges, we need to move beyond shallow approaches that focus on knowledge building. 

We need to help people learn to think deeply (beyond symptoms to complex, systemic causes) and broadly across disciplines as they work to meet the needs of multiple stakeholders. To accomplish this, the way we approach learning must change.  

It is becoming increasingly important to develop learning experiences that lead to real change – experiences that change mindsets, stretch capabilities, and prepare people for good citizenship and successful futures.

Why Does Learning Need to Change?

“The transformation from teacher-led learning to self-directed learning to self-determined learning will provide learners with a range of competencies and skills needed to succeed in the modern global economy… Education should prepare learners to tackle collaborative problem-solving scenarios that are persistent and lack clear solutions. Real-world challenges are highly complex, often ill-defined and interdisciplinary in nature, spanning multiple domains (social, economic, political, environmental, legal and ethical). Learners must have opportunities to reflect on their ideas, hone their analytical skills, strengthen their critical and creative thinking capacities, and demonstrate initiative.”

Cynthia Luna Scott. THE FUTURES of LEARNING 1: Why must learning content and methods change in the 21st century? UNESCO Education Research and Foresight, Paris. [ERF Working Papers Series, No. 13]

How Does Learning Need to Change?

“Globally competent learners are careful to consider previous approaches and the perspectives of others, they act ethically and collaboratively – in creative ways – to contribute to local, regional or global development. Globally competent learners do not presume they are equipped to handle complex challenges alone. They reflect candidly on their capacity to complete an assigned task and seek out collaborative opportunities to join with others whose strengths complement their own.”

Cynthia Luna Scott. THE FUTURES of LEARNING 2: What kind of learning for the 21st century? UNESCO Education Research and Foresight, Paris. [ERF Working Papers Series, No. 14].

Knowledge is wonderful, but it isn’t the key to success in a global society. It definitely shouldn’t be the central focus of learning in a world where information is literally at our fingertips. Instead of focusing on KNOWING, we need to be encouraging DISCOVERY, CONNECTION, ETHICAL THINKING and ADAPTATION. 

Resources:

The Future of Learning, Dr. Miriam Leis, Foresight Researcher

12 Trends Shaping the (Responsible, Human) Future of Learning, Leading in Context Blog

Teaching and Learning For a Sustainable Future, UNESCO

Imagining the Future of Leadership, Leading in Context Blog

 

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CMOE Top 100 Socially Shared Leadership Blogs 2015

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes how ethical expectations are increasing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

Click the cover to read a free preview!

 

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

Ethical Failures: What Causes Them?

By Linda Fisher ThorntonMSJ-160130-08

This week Leaderonomics.com published “Understanding and Preventing Ethical Leadership Failures” as its Hard Talk Leadership Pick of the Week.

This article explores ethical failures and their individual and organizational causes.

It answers these leadership questions:
  • What are the intentional and unintentional causes of ethical failures?
  • What do you do when a senior leader isn’t meeting ethical expectations?
  • What culture gaps can lead to ethical failures?

Read the full article at Leaderonomics.com for answers to these important questions (Get an infographic-style version of the article by clicking the red PDF download button).

Why are the answers to these questions important for us to know if we want to build an ethical workplace? Understanding what causes ethical failures can help us build a more robust infrastructure for preventing them. 

 

2016 Top Thought Leaders

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes how ethical expectations are increasing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

Click the cover to read a free preview!

 

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

Let’s Talk About Trust

By Linda Fisher Thornton

 

In January of each year, Trust Across America-Trust Around the World makes a big thought leaders announcement. This week I was informed that I am one of the 2016 Top Thought Leaders in Trust! 

2016 Top Thought LeadersIt is an honor to be included among many well-known academics, authors  and consultants who forward the trust movement.

To celebrate this honor, I am sharing a collection of blog posts about trust building. They cover what trust is, why we should build it, and what actions and behaviors support it. I hope you’ll use them to have leadership conversations about how to improve the trust in your workplace.

20150804_181328

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What is Trust?

Trust is a Relationship (Not a Commodity)

10 Things Trustworthy Leaders Know

Trust-Building Requires Trust-Giving                                                                       

Why Should We Build Trust?

5 More Reasons to Pay Attention to Trust

The Power of Trustworthy Leadership

Ethics and Trust Are Reciprocal

What Actions and Behaviors Build Trust?

10 Things Trustworthy Leaders Do

Building Trust: What to Weed Out

50 Ways to Lead For Trust (Part 1)

50 Ways to Lead For Trust (Part 2)

50 Ways to Lead For Trust (Part 3: The Last 20)

Trust transforms. hope these posts help you champion the deep level of trust that positively impacts people and organizations. 

2016 Top Thought Leaders

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes how ethical expectations are increasing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

Click the cover to read a free preview!

 

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

15 Quotes For Leadership Insight

We-should-never-settle (1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

About once a year I like to gather up important quotes from the Leading in Context Blog and compile them into a post for readers who like quotes! See if you can find inspiration in these quotes about authentic ethical leadership – what it is, how to think about it, and how to do it. 

Each quote includes a link that takes you to the post that featured it. 

“Ethical leadership is much closer to home than we may readily admit. It isn’t somewhere ‘out there’ at all – it is us, right here and right now.  It is in our deeply-held values. It is in our day-to-day choices.  It is in our quest for good.”

“Growth may be difficult, but there isn’t any other way to fully embrace ethics. We must grow into our ethical competence…intentionally…over time. When we are tempted to take a shortcut and think about ethics as a class or a theory, we should remember this: The “body of knowledge” isn’t going to need to make tough ethical choices. We are.”

“When we are not open to learning, we can easily misinterpret another perspective that does not match our own as a threat.”

What is the most positive reason of all to care about creating an ethical culture? We get to help people learn to make positive choices based on ethical values before they have problems (instead of just cleaning up ethical messes when it’s too late).

“Positive leaders stay grounded in ethical values and use a human growth mindset. They are fixed and flexible at the same time, never straying from ethics but always willing to change with the times.”

“I believe that we gain an understanding of the whole picture by taking in a broad array of information in the course of our lives. Without that kind of awareness, we are destined to understand the small pieces but miss the connections and the greater meaning.”

“Failing to prepare leaders for what they’ll face is not just potentially bad for their success, it’s also an ethical problem for their employees and for the organization. Without tools for handling complex challenges, people may make more mistakes than they need to. Some of those mistakes can be costly to the leader’s future and the organization’s reputation.”

“Trust is a hot topic and a valuable business enabler. The organizations that will adapt and succeed in the future make it a business priority.”

“The question about profit’s place in ethical leadership is a good one. At its best, ethics requires setting aside concerns about money and personal gain and doing what is best for others. But business leaders also have to keep their organizations afloat, and that requires thinking about money.”

“To make the boundaries of ethics clear, we need to explore the borders and grey areas. Trying to make things CLEAR and keeping them SIMPLE are not at all the same.”

“Competence is a critical part of responsible leadership. We may miss some steps along the way and make mistakes as we learn, but we should always make it a priority to stay competent.”

“Ethical values by definition are positive and they often require that we stretch outside of our own interests to respect, protect, serve and help others.”

“Ethical thinking means we never lose sight of our positive purpose. We choose to be the sum of our values, not our challenges.”

We are all Padawan learners on the ethical journey. We are subject to making mistakes, and we must continually learn to stay ahead of our ethical challenges.

27881-068-Edit-003My mission is to Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®. Each of these posts was written to help you bring out the best in your leaders and your organizations. Which one of these 15 insights do you find the most inspirational?

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes how ethical expectations are increasing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

 

 

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

50 Ways to Lead For Trust (Part 3: The Last 20)

 

Make-Work-Meaningful-and (2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This post is the third in a series on 50 Ways to Lead For Trust. Part 1 included numbers 1-15. Part 2 gave you 15 more, and this post includes the final 20 Ways to Lead For Trust.

Here are 20 more ways that you can build lasting trust through your daily leadership: 

31.  Ask What Keeps People From Success, and Remove Their Roadblocks

32.  Involve the Team in Charting Its Own Course For the Future

33.  Share the Credit

34.  Take Responsibility50-Ways-to-Lead-For-Trust

35.  Be Inclusive

36.  Support People’s Overall Well-Being

37.  Encourage Cooperation

38.  Bring Out Their Potential

39.  Promote Responsible Business

40. Trust Others To Do Great Work

41.  Require Respectful Interpersonal Behavior

42. Help People Handle Complexity

43. Ask Them to Work Smarter, Not Harder

44. Avoid Harm to Constituents

45. Do Good Works in the Community

46. Involve People in Service to Society

47. Be Positive and Proactive

48. Be Fair

49. Recognize Others

50. Make Work Meaningful and Rewarding

Use the 50 Ways to Lead For Trust to give yourself a “Trust Checkup.” Looking at these 50 actions, what will you choose to do TODAY to build a high-trust workplace where everyone can do great work?

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes how ethical expectations are increasing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.

 

 

 

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

Top 10 Leading in Context Posts of 2015

 

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Of the 52 posts published on the Leading in Context Blog in 2015, these 10 were the reader favorites. See if you notice a theme that connects these topics that readers accessed most frequently:

1. Imagining the Future of Leadership

2. Just Say No to 10 Behaviors That Kill Competence

3. 40 Ways to Build an Ethical Culture (An Ethical To Do List)

4. Why Do People Lead?

5. What is Authentic Leadership?

6. 7 Questions For Ethical Culture Building

7. What is Positive Leadership?

8. Trust is a Relationship (Not a Commodity)

9. Helping Young People Become Ethical Leaders

10. 11 Paths to Ethical Leadership Competence

If I had to pick a theme that incorporates all of these favorites, I’d choose the theme “Becoming Our Ethical Best.” If there are ethical leadership topics you want to learn more about in 2016, let me know! Post a comment here or include @leadingincontxt in your Tweet.

 

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes case examples and questions.

 

 

LeadinginContext.com   Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

5 Questions For Leaders Seeking Insight In The New Year

20140527_134250

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Many thanks to Leading in Context friends and followers for a wonderful 2015.  I appreciate your active involvement in the movement – special thanks to all who shared posts, posted comments and let me know what they wanted to learn more about. I am grateful for the global conversation about the positive leadership we need for a better future.

This New Year, as we head into 2016, I urge you to reach for Insight.

Insight is much deeper than observation, and it can mean a variety of powerful and life-changing things:

  • An understanding of “the inner nature of things” (Wikipedia, Insight)
  • An “aha moment” when things make sense and seem clear
  • Discovering a simple solution to a long-standing problem
  • Achieving a sudden and profound understanding of our own capabilities and challenges
  • Getting a glimpse of who we could be at our very best

Insight is especially important in leadership. Without it, we may cling to outdated notions of the purpose of leadershipWith it, we may inspire many others to do great things.

Insight is especially important now because we are leading in a time of information overload. Without it, we can miss the deeper meaning. With it, we can help others see beyond the flashy messages to the values that matter.

This year, aim high, striving to be a leader who helps others achieve insight and who brings out the best in people, organizations and communities.

Ask Your Team These 5 Questions:

  1. How directly do we contribute to our organization’s mission, and how can we transform our mindset and approach to support it more deeply?
  2. What routine tasks could we automate or eliminate so that we can spend time on what really matters?
  3. How could we help our organization move from a focus on the week or the quarter to a focus on its impact over the next hundred years?
  4. How well are we honoring all 7 Lenses of Ethical Leadership in our decision making and actions? (See this video for an introduction to the 7 Lenses and this Manifesto that explains the thinking process behind the 7 Lenses framework)
  5. What is one thing that we could improve that would take our work to a higher level of positive impact in the organization, the community and the world?

Leaders, make it a priority to reach past the noise and past day-to-day pressures. Seek Insight in 2016.

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes case examples and questions.

 

 

 

LeadinginContext.com   Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2016 Leading in Context LLC

A Wish For You This 2015 Holiday Season

By Linda Fisher Thornton

May-you-take-time-to

10 Temptations

Wishing you a Joyful Holiday Season and a Happy New Year!

 

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes case examples and questions.

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2015 Leading in Context LLC

50 Ways To Lead For Trust (Part 2)

Give-People-Room-to-Work

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This post is the second in a series of 50 Ways to Lead For Trust. Part 1 included the first 15. Here are the next 15 things you can do to be a more trustworthy leader and to build a high level of trust in your workplace:

16. Be Morally Aware

17. Respect Boundaries

18. Be Transparent

19. Clarify Mission and Vision50-Ways-to-Lead-For-Trust

20. Clarify Values

21. Make Ethics a Priority

22. Create The Space to Talk About Difficult Issues

23. Be Calm

24. Be Thoughtful

25. Give People Room to Work, Room to Succeed and Room to Grow

26. Answer Questions Openly

27. Address The Grey Areas

28. Respect Others

29. Respect Differences

30. Stay Competent

Choose at least one of these leader actions to implement this week. Make trust building a priority!

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

A guide to how ethical expectations are increasing, and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
 
 
 
 
 
LeadinginContext.com  
 
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
 
©2015 Leading in Context LLC

 

We’re All Padawan Learners

20150804_135343

By Linda Fisher Thornton

With the new Star Wars movie being released this month, my family and I recently watched all six of the original Star Wars movies in one week. It was an intense movie marathon, and watching them all in the order they were released gave us a unique perspective. 

Have you ever noticed that no matter how many times the forces of good overcome the forces of evil in the Star Wars movies, there is always another challenge? There is never a moment when the characters “arrive” and are exempt from ethical challenges. They can never let down their guard.

Why? Because power can corrupt or it can be used for good. In the six original Star Wars movies, we see what happens when a Padawan learner (Luke) is humble and stays the course, always open to learning. We also see what happens when a Padawan learner (Vader) thinks he has “arrived” and is no longer willing to learn from others. 

We are all Padawan learners on the ethical journey. We are subject to making mistakes, and we must continually learn to stay ahead of our ethical challenges.

The surprising truth is that we are all also teachers. Others are watching our choices and learning from us. 

As others observe our choices, how will they see us choosing to use our power?

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

 
 
 
 
 
LeadinginContext.com  
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
 
©2015 Leading in Context LLC

 

 

50 Ways To Lead For Trust (Part 1)

Lead-With-Ethical-Values

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This post is the first in a series on practical ways to lead that build trust. See how many of the first fifteen you incorporate into your daily leadership:

1. Care

2. Ask

3. Support

4. Be Available50-Ways-to-Lead-For-Trust

5. Be Consistent

6. Be Honest

7. Be Reliable

8. Be Understanding

9. Think Long Term

10. Build Positive Relationships

11. Be Humble

12. Always Keep Learning

13. Ask Those You Lead How You Can Improve (and Then Do It)

14. Meet the Standards You Expect of Others

15. Lead With Ethical Values

Pick one of these fifteen important trust-building actions to improve this month. Your team deserves it!

 

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

 Includes how ethical leadership expectations are increasing and what you can do to stay ahead of the curve.
 
 
 LeadinginContext.com  
 
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
 
©2015 Leading in Context LLC

 

Being Thankful is a Virtue

A-thankful-heart-is-not

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Cicero’s quote reminds us that if we want to act on the important virtues that create a just society, we must first see the world with a thankful heart. 

Why is seeing the world with a thankful heart so important?

It helps us think beyond ourselves.

It keeps us aware of the good that others do for us.

It helps us consider our wants and needs with an attitude of plenty.

Today, may you go about your appointed rounds with a thankful heart. 

If you want to learn more about how thankfulness can be transformational, Jeff Haden shares 40 Inspiring Motivational Quotes About Gratitude with us at Inc.com.

 

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

 

 

 

LeadinginContext.com  

Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2015 Leading in Context LLC

What Are You Talking About (Ethically Speaking)?

20150804_135350

By Linda Fisher Thornton

There are many layers of meaning in ethics conversations. How far down are you going? Do you stop at surface messages or do you dig into real problems? See if you can find your ethics conversations below:

Layers of Ethical Conversation

 

SURFACE:

Corporate Messages

Marketing Slogans

Posters About Ethics and Integrity

STANDARDS:

Ethics Codes

Ethics Training

REALITY:

Tackling Real-Life Dilemmas That Are Difficult To Handle

How to Apply Ethics Expectations in Grey Areas and Between the Lines

What We Do Around Here When We Don’t Know the Right Thing to Do

 

Don’t lock down the ethics conversation at Surface and Standards. The level of Reality is where your employees want to talk about ethics. Don’t believe it? Just ask them. 

Top 100 Leadership Blog

 

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

 
 
 
 
 
LeadinginContext.com  
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
 
©2015 Leading in Context LLC

 

What is Ethical Thinking?

FINAL CHANGE THIS MANIFESTO_Page_01By Linda Fisher Thornton

Today I’m taking you inside the mind of the ethical leader to explore ethical thinking

What do ethical leaders think about?

  • They are guided by a desire to have a positive impact.
  • They think about what’s best for others, and seek mutual benefit. 
  • They think about ways to demonstrate their values in day-to-day leadership, even when faced with difficult challenges.

Here are some ways that ethical leaders think about ethical responsibility:

Inside the Mind of an Ethical Leader

“I make decisions based on values, not money pressures.”

“I need to constantly learn in order to stay ethical.”

“I can learn something from you, even if we disagree.”

“Leadership means creating value for others.”

“Understanding multiple perspectives helps us find mutually beneficial solutions.”

 “Respect is the minimum standard.”

Excerpted From Inside The Mind of An Ethical Leader by Linda Fisher Thornton, Guest Post on Management Excellence by Art Petty.

The real test of our ethical thinking is in how we choose to handle our day to day challenges. 

Are we being dragged through the day reacting to the chaos, or are we making intentional, values-based choices? Are we the sum of our challenges, or of our choices?

Are We Our Challenges?

TIME PRESSURE

MONEY PRE$$URE

INFORMATION OVERLOAD

COMPLIANCE

STRESS

RISK

Or Our Choices?

RESPECT AND CARE FOR OTHERS

COMMUNITY SERVICE

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

FOLLOWING LAWS

PROTECTING FUTURE GENERATIONS

RESPONSIBLE PROFITABILITY

Excerpted From ChangeThis Manifesto “What Ethical Leaders Believe” By Linda Fisher Thornton

The bottom line? Ethical thinking means we never lose sight of our positive purpose. We choose to be the sum of our values, not our challenges.

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

 
 
 
 
 
LeadinginContext.com  
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
 
©2015 Leading in Context LLC

 

Do Differences of Opinion Set Off Your Threat Detector?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Differences of opinion can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. We may be in a discussion with someone who has very different views from ours, on a topic of great importance to us. How we handle it shows others the inner workings of our character.

We have all been in conversations with people who are open to hearing what we have to say and those who are not. When we perceive an idea as a threat, it may be a signal that we are CLOSED to learning. And that may lead us right into unethical territory, to disrespectful interpersonal behavior. 

As you review these descriptions, think about your recent conversations. Was the other person OPEN or CLOSED to learning? Did they perceive a difference of opinion as a threat or an opportunity to learn?

Sees a Difference of Opinion as a Threat

  • Different ideas are direct threats to my position
  • When we disagree, only one of us can be right
  • Listening to dissenting opinions is dangerous and should be avoided
  • People who disagree with my position should be belittled and put in their place to reduce their power

Sees It as a Learning Opportunity

  • Different ideas are opportunities to learn
  • When we disagree, we might both be describing different parts of a bigger concept
  • Listening doesn’t mean we have to change our beliefs, but we are open to that if it happens
  • Listening to dissenting opinions increases our understanding of issues we care about

Ethical leadership requires us to respect people and differences of perspective even when those differences may make us uncomfortable. 

Override your threat detection system when you hear information that goes against your current views.

If differences of opinion set off our “threat detection” system and make us angry, that may be a sign that we are closed to learning. I have noticed over the years that perceiving the ideas of others as a threat is signal that we need to listen. 

This week, notice what sets off your threat detection system, and see what you can learn when you choose to override it and remain open to learning.

Top 100 Leadership Blog

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Prepare Your Leaders For Ethical Leadership Future – Help Them Learn To See Through The 7 Lenses®. 

Includes case examples and questions.

 

 

Subscribe to the Leading in Context Blog! Weekly posts help you navigate ethical complexity and prepare for the future of leadership.

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Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2015 Leading in Context LLC

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