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

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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.

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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

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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

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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

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

 

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!

 

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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

 

What Are You Talking About (Ethically Speaking)?

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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. 

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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

 

“Is It Ethical?” (Decision Tool Based on the Book 7 Lenses)

7LensesStack

By Linda Fisher Thornton

A new ethical decision-making tool is available for readers of 7 Lenses! If you have read the book and want to take your decision-making to a higher level of complexity, visit the new 7 Lenses Tools page. You’ll find the decision-making worksheet “Is it Ethical?” based on the book.

So often decisions are made based on cost or convenience without considering the full ethical impact. This new 7 Lenses® decision-making worksheet guides you through all 7 Lenses of Ethical Leadership to get the full picture.

It’s important to think long term about our leadership impact (from 7 different perspectives). When we fully consider the impact of our choices, we can make decisions that meet our own needs and the needs of others and society.

Use this tool for informing:

  • your individual decisions
  • group decision-making conversations
  • coaching and mentoring other leaders

My hope is that “Is It Ethical?” will help you honor all 7 Lenses in your daily leadership. Leaders who are using the 7 Lenses® framework tell me that there is a startling clarity in this approach and that having this framework for understanding ethical responsibility is transforming their leadership and changing their lives in positive ways.

Please share your story with other readers – How is the 7 Lenses® framework helping you stay grounded in ethical values? How is it improving your decision making? How is it changing your daily leadership? 

 

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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.

Ordering Information

Testimonials

 

LeadinginContext.com   Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2015 Leading in Context LLC

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Take Positive Action When You See Unethical Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton

While I specialize in positive, proactive ethical leadership, I frequently get asked questions about unethical leadership. In particular, readers ask about the damage that toxic leaders do in organizations and what situations and circumstances lead to ethical failures.

While we need to stay focused on the positive, preventive aspects of our leadership, understanding what not to do can also help us stay within the boundaries of positive ethical leadership. Today I’m sharing posts that describe what leadership looks like when it is unethical.

These articles include details about what not to do: 

What is Unethical Leadership?

Can A Toxic Leader Be Ethical? Yes and No

Is Over-Solving Problems Unethical?

Is Needing To Be Right Unethical?

Is Refusing to Change Unethical?

What Causes Ethical Failures?

What Are Signs Of Unethical Leadership and Low Trust?

Is Failing To Honor Boundaries Unethical?

40 Ethical Culture Gaps to Avoid

“We can no longer evaluate a person’s leadership solely on results while ignoring the negative ripple effect created by interpersonal behavior choices. It’s time to see toxic leadership for what it really is – stress creating, inappropriate, negative, unethical leadership.”

Linda Fisher Thornton, Leading in Context Blog, Can a Toxic Leader Be Ethical? Yes and No.

If you recognize any of these signs of unethical behavior or toxic leadership in your organization, don’t wait. Take positive action now. 

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Help Your Leaders Cut Through Complexity By Learning To See Through The 7 Lenses. 

Includes compelling graphics, guiding principles, case examples and questions.

 

LeadinginContext.com   Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®

©2015 Leading in Context LLC

5 More Reasons to Pay Attention To Trust

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By Linda Fisher  Thornton

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. Here are five perspectives on the critical role trust building plays in the success of our organizations:

“Reputation is the backward-facing evaluation of past experiences with a company or brand. Trust is the forward-facing evaluation of consumer expectations of future experiences.”

Building Trust Capital: The New Business Imperative in the Kinship Economy, IHG

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Trust is pivotal because it is the basis for every human relationship, every transaction, and every market. Trustworthiness is the foundation of a business’s license to operate in any region or industry.”

The Trust Agenda, Essay by Dennis Nally, Chairman of PriceWaterhouseCoopers International, Strategy and Business

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“Most companies appreciate that high trust levels lead to a stronger reputation, sustainable revenues, greater customer advocacy and increased employee retention. It is also likely that companies with higher levels of trust will bounce back from future crises far quicker than others.”

Eduardo Leite, Why Trust Matters in Business, World Economic Forum

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The 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer finds that more than half of the global informed public believe that the pace of development and change in business today is too fast, that business innovation is driven by greed and money rather than a desire to improve people’s lives.

Trust and Innovation, 2015 Edelman Trust Barometer

«

“For their part, senior leaders need to invest in systems, rewards, and habits that make it easy for managers faced with complexity and constant change to make solid commitments, connect the dots with other groups, and remember their promises. This is how thriving businesses create an upward spiral of trust and strong results.

Elizabeth Doty, Does Your Company Keep Its Promises? strategy+business

«

Trust is necessary for attracting and keeping business-critical customers, employees and partners. And it doesn’t happen by itself. 

For trust to flourish we need a trust-building focus, an intention to trust others and be trustworthy, and (perhaps most important of all) trust-generating leadership. 

Learn How Ethics and Trust Are Reciprocal

 

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

Leaders: Check Your Motivation, Your Authenticity and Your Ethics

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By Linda Fisher Thornton

If we are leading others, we need to be asking the questions of leadership – about our motivation, our authenticity and our ethics.

Continually asking ourselves these questions keeps us sharp, focused and aware of our greater impact on others, organizations and society.

The Questions of Leadership

What are some of the deep questions that we should be asking ourselves if we are leading others? This list includes a handful of the questions we may wrestle with on our leadership learning journey. Knowing the answers can keep us aligned with our greater mission, supporting not only our own success, but also the success of other individuals, groups and organizations.

Click on each question below for a blog post exploring the question:

1. Why do I want to lead?

2. How can I get past ego and self-interest to become an effective leader?

3. What does authentic leadership require?

4. How do I balance profits with other leadership outcomes?

5. What does it mean to be an ethical leader in a global society?

 

Top 100 Leadership Blog

axiombronze

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

Where Is Ethical Leadership Found?

 

By Linda Fisher Thornton

While it may be convenient to think about ethical leadership as a task, a program, or a rule book, that’s not where it lives. It lives in our big and small choices. It lives in our decision-making. It lives in our organizational culture. It lives in our deep commitment to working for good.

We can’t get away with “externalizing” ethics because 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.

Top 100 Leadership Blog

axiombronze

 

 

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

 

What is Positive Leadership?

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By Linda Fisher Thornton

Positive leadership is a new term that is popping up regularly in articles. What does it mean? What kind of leadership do we describe as positive?

What is Positive Leadership?

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. 

The Basis?    Positive Ethical Values

The Assumption?    People Will Do Amazing Things if We Intentionally Bring Out Their Best

The Goal?  Lead in Ways That Bring Out People’s Best Capabilities

The Culture?   Respectful, Transparent and Supportive

The Leadership?   Encouraging, Available, Contributing to People’s Success and Well-Being, Helping People Be Co-Owners of the Organization’s Success, Helping Them Learn and Grow, Helping Them Reach Their Potential.

The Interactions?   Net Positive (Many more positive than negative interactions)

Positive leaders extend a welcome to all stakeholders and help them discover their possibilities, capabilities and contributions.

What is the essence of being a positive leader? Focusing on the best in others while working on becoming the best of ourselves. 

Learn More: 

The Impact of Positive Leadership, Gallup Business Journal

Positive Organizational Behavior in the Workplace: The Impact of Hope, Optimism and Resilience, Carolyn M. Youssef, Fred Luthans, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, unl.edu

The Power of Positive Communication, The University of Arizona

Top 100 Leadership Blog

axiombronze

 

 

 

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

 

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