Bringing Out the Best in People and Organizations

7 LensesBy Linda Fisher Thornton

After 4 years of researching and writing, I am proud to announce that my new book 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership is launching this week.

7 Lenses proposes a framework for learning the kind of ethical leadership that brings out the best in people and organizations. It is written for leaders who want to build ethical companies and cultures, stronger communities and a better world.

It provides a road map for learning how to lead in ways that fully honor personal, interpersonal and societal dimensions of ethical responsibility. The four-quadrant model and case studies give readers a clear picture of the kind of ethical leadership we need.

In the foreword, Stephen M. R. Covey writes “Use this wonderful book as a guide on your ethical leadership journey, and you will deeply engage your workforce and build enduring trust.”

© 2013 Leading in Context LLC

7 Lenses is organized in three parts. Part One answers the question “What is ethical leadership?” from 7 different perspectives that together form a multidimensional model I call the 7 Lenses™. Part Two guides leaders in applying 14 Guiding Principles that honor all 7 Lenses. Part Three explores how ethical expectations are changing, and describes six connected trends shaping the future of ethical leadership.

This book was written to answer these questions:

1) What is ethical leadership in a complex world?
2) Why don’t ethics experts agree about it?
3) What is the framework we should be using to guide our day-to-day leadership?
4) How can we stay ahead of changes in ethical expectations?

While 4 years ago, I did not have answers to these questions, now 7 Lenses answers them clearly and practically. It is no longer enough to honor the triple bottom line. This book will help you reach for the highest level of ethical leadership, honoring all 7 dimensions of ethical responsibility. See Lenses for more information. 



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 Ethics
7 Lenses is a 2014  Bronze Axiom Business Book Award Winner   About 7 Lenses  @leadingincontxt  @7Lenses

© 2013 Leading in Context LLC 


  1. Mark, Many thanks for your comments. I’m glad you see 7 Lenses as helping move the ethics and leadership fields forward. It has taken 4 years for me to make its framework clear enough to be actionable by leaders across industries. Thanks, also for your own contributions to helping people understand what responsibility in leadership means! Linda


  2. Linda,

    Congratulations on your book. We need your continued effort, passion, and contributing thoughts in the field of ethics and leadership. When I look out into our current business landscape, American society, and our global picture, what I see is a lack of personal ethics and significant amount of systemic/moral rot.

    Humans are simply not very accountable, responsible, honest, genuine, or transparent. We easily criticize others, are judgmental, and willing to blame anyone other than ourselves. We cannot afford to sit by idly and pretend this isn’t a problem. Willful blindness is a disease and it must stop right now. Our futures are at stake and our children are depending on us to show them the way.

    I have often said that leadership without purpose is groundless and a waste of time. We need purposeful leaders in all walks of life who see their work as a means and an end to improve the lives of others. We cannot tolerate them putting their own interests first, usurping power, allowing them to rationalize and justify the mistakes they make. It takes moral courage to call them out and hold them accountable.

    Keep up the good work and perhaps we can meet or talk in the near future. All the best, Mark


  3. Congratulations Linda. Your work will be a contribution to the ethics field and readers should be able to take your ideas and put them into purposeful play. As I have said many times previously, the lack of ethical leadership is astounding and disturbing. We can do better than this as humans, and anything less is unacceptable, unaccountable, and intolerable. One day we will meet or talk in more depth. Few people have hit the slippery slope in business/life harder than me. All the best, Mark


  4. Linda was kind enough to ask me to review her book. It was great! You can see it on Amazon but I’m attaching it below in case you don’t get that far!

    5 Stars

    In today’s connected, complex world, where the ability to cultivate and sustain trusting relationships with myriad stakeholders is vital to personal and organisational credibility, ethical leadership has never been more needed. Countless recent scandals are testament to the sad fact that the demand for such leadership has frequently been let down by its supply. From the exploitation of garment workers in Bangladesh to the underwhelming figures on employee engagement in most countries, there is a sense that we are frequently let down by those who lead us. And yet there are multitudes who want to collaborate well across increasingly global boundaries to address the numerous universal issues that threaten the stability and sustainability of our world. Linda has written this book for all of us who seek to make a positive difference in lives, organisations, communities, and the world.

    One of the things that we have lacked is a clear, unambiguous and practical framework for agreeing on what is right, so that we can apply common principles and standards to our leadership adventure, contextualised appropriately to geography, industry and interest. Linda shines a clear and lucid light on how to do this through her 7 lenses model, which provides a practical roadmap of the learning journey towards bequeathing a planet we can be proud of to future generations. She clearly outlines a list of the dimensions of ethical responsibilities, provides well-articulated and case-illustrated descriptions of the principles of leading ethically, and asks penetrating questions that will challenge every aspiring leader to explore their personal and organisational practice at many levels.

    It is a book about ethics, for sure, but to me it is really a book about leadership development – the holistic principles so clearly outlined underpin the journey towards transformational leadership, servant leadership, and sustainable leadership. It is a book about other-centredness, congruence in principles and deeds, the highest of aspirations for people and society. It will surely become a bible for those of us attracted towards these lofty aims.


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