5 Leadership Development Priorities

5 Leadership Development Priorities

By Linda Fisher Thornton

The recent post “It’s Not About Us” set a new daily record for the most views on the Leading in Context Blog. It described how our understanding of leadership has moved beyond a focus on the leader to a focus on creating shared value for others.

 

In a human development sense, our understanding of leadership has essentially “grown up” and moved past personal ego and a self-centered view of things.

This week, I want to share how the trends in our understanding of leadership are changing the fiber of what successful leadership looks like in organizations. If our organizations are not yet ready to respond to them, these trends should become our top priorities for leadership development.

5 Leadership Development Priorities

 

1.  Progressing from compliance-based ethics to values-based ethics.

TEACHING THE BEHAVIORS  WE WANT, NOT THE ONES THAT WILL BE PUNISHED

 

2.  Getting comfortable with volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (V.U.C.A.).

PRACTICING WITH COMPLEX PROBLEMS IN REAL TIME USING V.U.C.A. STRATEGIES

 

3.  Thinking like global citizens in a world of connecting systems.

MANAGING ETHICS UP AND DOWN THE SUPPLY CHAIN, UNDERSTANDING SYSTEMS, APPLYING THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE AND THINKING LONG TERM

 

4.  Embracing the responsibilities that come with leadership.

GOING BEYOND THE TRIPLE BOTTOM LINE, HONORING SEVEN DIMENSIONS OF ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITY

 

5.  Embracing the opportunities that come with leadership.

CHANGING LIVES, IMPROVING COMMUNITIES,MAKING A DIFFERENCE IN THE WORLD

 

While these 5 leadership development priorities may seem challenging, the good news is that by addressing them proactively we will also be enabling the overall success of our organizations.

Leading with values and taking responsibility broadly helps us adapt

The clarity we find in leading with positive values makes decision-making easier, and helps us adapt to the rising expectations in a global marketplace. We are no longer buffeted by every small change in the law, because we are aiming at a much higher level, the level of human values.

 


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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2014 Leading in Context LLC 

 

 

 

 

Modeling Ethical Leadership and Behavior

Modeling Ethical Behavior

By Linda Fisher Thornton

As leaders, we are not working in isolation. What we do sets the tone for what employees do. Because we are leading them, they will tend to follow and learn from our choices. What kinds of choices do we need to make to ensure that employees make ethical choices in their daily work? What does it look like when we effectively model ethical leadership?

The Manifesto

“We model ethical leadership and behavior. We realize that we can only bring out the best in those we lead when we embrace continuous learning. We know that our role is to listen, learn and improve, serving as a role model for what ethical behavior looks like. We learn just as much as we teach. We listen deeply to others, not sharing our own thinking without regard to theirs. We model ethical leadership, with our thoughts, words and deeds in full alignment. We are open to learning and model the ethical behavior we ask of others.

The Leading in Context® Manifesto

Modeling Ethical Leadership and Behavior

How important is it to model ethical behavior? Think about the combined impact when everyone you lead follows your example. If your example is positive, then you get abundant ethical behavior. If your example is negative, then you get abundant unethical behavior.

It is simultaneously a burden and an opportunity for us as leaders to model ethical behavior. It is a burden in that we must work hard to ensure that we are modeling the highest ethics. It is an opportunity in that modeling ethical behavior brings out the best in us and those we lead.

A leader’s ethical shortcomings are magnified throughout the organization. However, consider that the same is true for ethical improvements. What could happen if you intentionally worked to improve the ethics of your day-to-day choices? The ripple effect that your improvement would generate would improve the ethics of many others. That’s the magnified impact of ethical modeling.

 

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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2013 Leading in Context LLC 

 

How Many Really Great Leaders Have You Worked For?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

How many really great leaders have you worked for?

If we’re very lucky, we will have had the chance to work for great leaders in most of the jobs we’ve held. However, when I ask people how many really great leaders they have had, they usually have to think pretty hard to come up with one or two.

I have been curious about whether or not what I’m hearing is representative of the general population. If we can’t think of more than one or two really great leaders out of the many jobs we’ve held – what does that say about the state of leadership?

So here’s a quick poll. Think back to the great leaders you’ve had in all of the jobs you’ve ever had, starting when you first held a job.  These are leaders who brought out the best in you. They demonstrated the highest ethics.  They made work fun and let you know you were a valuable member of the team. They encouraged individual and team accomplishment and helped you learn from mistakes. They inspired you to do more than you thought you could.

Answer the poll below and let’s see how the numbers really look. After you vote, click “View Results” to see what others are saying.

We should all work toward being the kind of leader that could be counted in this poll as a great one. Here are some questions to guide us on our journey.

What are we doing each day to intentionally be a great leader? 

What more could we do?

How would doing more make a difference in the lives of those we lead?


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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2013 Leading in Context LLC 

 

 

The Learning Paradox: How Too Much Homework Harms

How Much Homework is Too Much?

As we build increasing awareness about learning, motivation and the general well-being of children, more people are beginning to wonder if the way we use homework is part of the solution or part of the problem.

The National PTA recommendations fall in line with general guidelines suggested by researcher Harris Cooper: 10-20 minutes per night in the first grade, and an additional 10 minutes per grade level thereafter (e.g., 20 minutes for second grade, 120 minutes for twelfth). High school students may sometimes do more, depending on what classes they take (see Review of Educational Research, 2006).

The National PTA says that “when you add classroom time to homework time, school-age children should not be working longer than an eight-hour day.”  (Hints to Help Reduce Homework Stress pta.org)

According to my research and my own experience as a parent, children in elementary school are sometimes being given homework that takes their required school time well beyond an eight-hour day.  Spending too much time on homework means losing important family time and missing out on exercise, time outside and other stress-reducing activities. For these reasons and others, it can create more stress for children than they know how to handle if too much homework is given too early in their development.

Paradoxically, by trying to help children learn more by adding graded homework for every child,we may be hurting the learning process more than we’re helping it.

Here are some of the reasons why giving homework for additional practice is not necessarily better for learning:

…Because love of learning is driven by curiosity and exploration, not repetition.

children “lack the time to pursue interests they care about” Homework Harms Kids, Says Debunker, by Kris Rushowy, TheStar.com

“damaging our kids’ interest in learning.” The Myth About Homework, Time Magazine

“single greatest extinguisher of a child’s curiosity” Homework Harms Kids, Says Debunker, by Kris Rushowy, TheStar.com

“I’ve heard from schools in the U.S. that have banned homework that kids are more likely to read for pleasure, to follow the news in the newspaper, to pursue a question online, to show their parents a science experiment they did at school, and so on.” Homework Harms Kids, Says Debunker, by Kris Rushowy, TheStar.com

I agree with Bill Glassner (1992, p. 231) that children would be better emerging from schooling ignorant, than hating to learn. It’s the children’s willingness to learn that is most harmed by compulsory homework. Children don’t like it, many parents don’t like it, teachers don’t like it. For good reason.” Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

…Because completing independent work requires a level of development that only comes with age and is not well developed in the elementary and early middle school years.

“One of the complicating factors is age. Most small children and early adolescents have not yet developed the kind of self-reflective or self-monitoring skills to get the benefit out of either homework or self-study” LeTedre explains.  Probing Question: Is Homework Bad for Kids? by Alexa Stevenson

…Because more homework is not better for the child.

“It is generally agreed that the younger the child, the less time the child should be expected to devote to homework. A general rule of thumb is that children do 10 minutes of homework for each grade level. Therefore, first graders should be expected to do about 10 minutes of homework, second graders 20 minutes, third graders 30 minutes, and so on. If your child is spending more than 10 minutes per grade level on work at night, then you may want to talk with your child’s teacher about adjusting the workload.” Homework: A Guide for Parents by Peg Dawson, EdD, National Association of School Psychologists Online

“The trouble seems to crop up in the elementary grades when kids do too much homework — defined by some as an hour or more. Studies have shown a negative correlation between math scores and the amount of homework completed. In other words, the more homework the students did, the worse they performed on math tests.”  Does More Homework Mean Better Grades? ABC World News With Diane Sawyer

…Because too much homework creates a burden on students and harms their academic skills.

“Prior to the late high school years, children who are given more than 30 minutes of homework a night show declines in their academic skills, compared with children who are given none. “  Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

“The problem, he (LeTendre) adds, is that most teachers use ‘the shotgun approach,’ photocopying worksheets and giving each student the same assignment.” Probing Question: Is Homework Bad for Kids? by Alexa Stevenson

“Teachers have to set homework, police its completion, and mark it. For the majority of students who are progressing well, this extra work is an unnecessary burden on both students and teachers. If instead teachers could design specific remedial activities for the handful of struggling students, both they and their students would be less burdened.” Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

…Because too much homework takes the place of things children need, like relaxed family time, play and rest.

“Homework eats into relaxation time, which would offset stress.” Bill Glassner, quoted in  Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

“takes the place of “evenings for family and serendipity” The Myth About Homework, Time Magazine

“Play is so important to optimal child development that it has been recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights as a right of every child.1″ The Importance of Play in Healthy Child Development and Maintaining Strong Parent-Child Bonds by Kenneth Ginsberg, MD, and the Committee on Communications and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health, American Academy of Pediatrics

“Homework does not meet children’s needs and indeed violates their requirements for recreational and extra-curricular activity time, and for sleep…” Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

“homework demands can limit the time available to spend on other beneficial activities, such as sport and community activities” Homework: Is it Worth It? Memory-key.com

Bright students who are conscientious about doing homework have no time left to pursue other recreational activities; less able students do not do the homework but because this defines them as failures, they do little else either.” Bill Glassner quoted in Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

…Because when children who have not developed the skills to handle independent work are given challenging assignments and asked to do them by themselves without parent help, it creates a stressful dilemma for them and their parents.

 “nightly grind that is stressing out children”  New Recruit in Homework Revolt: The Principal, The New York Times

“brought home homework only a parent could complete”  Do Kids Have Too Much Homework? SmithsonianMag.com

“straining parent-kid relationships” The Myth About Homework, Time Magazine

“Most homework is more easily and better done at school.” Bill Glassner quoted in Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

“turned their living room in to an anguished battleground” Do Kids Have Too Much Homework? SmithsonianMag.com

“Then there’s the nightly nagging to get started on the homework. This policing role leads to tension in the family and disputes between parents and the many children who cannot or do not want to do the work.” Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

…Because to get the homework done and protect free time, parents, children and teachers have to lower their standards for completing the homework, which sends the wrong message to children.

“schools are deciding what happens during family time” Homework Harms Kids, Says Debunker, by Kris Rushowy, TheStar.com

“To avoid arguments, teachers (and parents) accept low quality homework, sending the message that it is acceptable to do poor work.” Bill Glassner quoted in Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

While there are differences of opinion on the impact of too much homework, I believe that we need to fiercely protect the rights of all children to keep their:

  1. curiosity
  2. love of learning
  3. time to play, and
  4. time with family and friends

…and that whatever approach we take to the homework issue should be in that context.

“When we lack choice, activities become work, and when they are joyless, they teach us very little – other than to dislike them.” Homework Hysteria by Louise Porter, Child Psychologist

Additional Resources: 

Research Spotlight on Homework National Education Association, nea.org

Homework: What the Research Says Brief National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, nctm.org

Rethinking Homework by Alfie Kohn, Principal

Research Spotlight on Homework, National Education Association, nea.org

American Students are Underwhelmed by Homework Assignments Carnegie Mellon

Do Students Have Too Much Homework?  The Brookings Institute

The Balanced View: Homework Sharingsuccess.org


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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2012 Leading in Context LLC 

Ethical Leaders Care

 

 

Ethical Leadership Involves Much More Than Avoiding  Risk

Ethical leadership is about much more than making good decisions and abiding by laws and regulations. One of the elements of ethical leadership that may be overlooked when we view ethics using a “legal lens” is supporting and developing the potential of the people we lead.

While many leadership ethics programs focus on the risk side of ethics – compliance with laws and regulations, avoiding lawsuits, etc., there is an equally important side of ethics that involves care.

The Importance of Caring Leadership

Caring for others is an important element of ethical leadership that is gaining attention.

“Originally conceived as most appropriate to the private and intimate spheres of life, care ethics has branched out as a political theory and social movement aimed at broader understanding of, and public support for, care-giving activities in their breadth and variety.”

“Care Ethics” Page in the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy at Arizona State University, online at iep.utm.edu

Caring is Part of Ethical Leadership

Care ethics focuses on the fact that we are all connected and have a responsibility to care for one another. We need to care because leadership is at its core about relationships.

A care ethic de-emphasizes the idea of the independent individual and instead stresses that persons exist in a web of relationships.

Care Theory, Western Kentucky University online at wku.edu.

We do “exist in a web of relationships.” We are more connected now than ever due to fast information exchange and a better understanding of our global economic and social systems. When we apply the care ethic, we act as if how we handle situations and how we treat people is just as important as following laws and making ethical decisions.

Leadership is about relationships. When we lead with care, we honor those relationships. Using ethics of care helps us think differently about any potential workplace conflicts, reminding us to use relationship-based means instead of only legal means for resolving touchy issues.

“A care ethic also seems to favor adopting procedures from Conflict Resolution and Dispute Mediation as alternative ways to approach an apparent ethical conflict.”

Online Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, online at phil.cmu.edu

Leading With Care

Using ethics of care changes how we think and act as leaders. It helps us remember that each person is important and that treating each other with care is part of our shared human experience. Caring shows that we know that people are more than task-doers and that leading is more than tactical, more than obligatory, more than just a job.

Questions for Reflection

1. How well do we demonstrate as leaders that we care for others?

2. In what settings are we not currently demonstrating ethics of care?

3. How will we help our leaders know what caring leadership looks like?

4. How will we incorporate the concept of care ethics into our leadership development?

For Further Reading

The Moral Psychology of Business: Care and Compassion in the Corporation by Robert Solomon, Business Ethics Quarterly v.8 no3 (July 1998)

Care Ethics Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Caring in Education by Nel Noddings

Leadership and the Ethics of Care by Joanne Ciulla

 Ethics of Care Online Guide to Ethics and Morality at Carnegie Mellon University, online at phil.cmu.edu

 

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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 


Leading in Context® Blog Index

Thank you for being committed to responsible leadership, and for following the Leading in Context® Blog. This Index includes over 250 posts that I have written on a wide variety of subjects related to ethical leadership. May they help you be successful on your leadership journey.

Helping You Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership™

Linda Fisher Thornton, CEO/Owner, Leading in Context LLC, LeadinginContext®.com.                                                        © 2009-2014 Leading in Context LLC. All rights reserved.

 

522

For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses 
© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 
 

Leadership and…Making Responsible Choices

5 Ways to Make Responsible Choices

We have a responsibility as business leaders to:

1. Choose positive and inclusive words.

Leadership and…Language: Business Leadership and the Words We Choose

2. Use sustainable thinking (consumers are).

Sustainable Everything: What Business Leaders Need to Know About the New Thinking

3. Carefully check the ethics of everyone in your supply chain.

Scrutinize Suppliers for Ethical Business Practices

4. Choose sustainable office products.

Ethical Office Supplies: Ethical Product Rankings Make Comparisons Easier

5. Stay on top of how ethical leadership is evolving.

Top 10 Trends in Ethical Business Leadership.

Author’s Note: This week’s post is designed as a discussion-starter for leader groups and leadership classes. To use it that way, have each leader read the articles in advance, then discuss how to apply the 5 Ways when you gather as a group.

 

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For more, see Linda’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2011 Leading in Context LLC 

New Business Rules: Are You Ready to Compete?

Will you be ready to compete in the new arena?

The consumer is choosing products differently, and even “doing without” more often. Businesses are racing to catch up with the new expanded expectations for responsible leadership in 2010 and beyond. CEOs are facing a new economic marketplace with new rules for success.

How are CEOs adapting? 

PriceWaterhouse Cooper’s 13th Annual Global CEO Survey (the link is no longer active) gives you the inside scoop on what US CEOs are doing to be competetive, and helps you identify areas where your business can improve in order to be ready.

 

For New Blog Posts, visit LeadinginContext.com/Blog

522

For more, see Linda Fisher Thornton’s book 7 Lenses and the 21 Question Assessment: How Current is My Message About Ethics?

7 Lenses is a Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner in Business Ethics41cEVx-Tu4L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_
2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner 
About 7 Lenses
 
 
Info@LeadinginContext.com  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2010 Leading in Context LLC 

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