By Linda Fisher Thornton
Is your ethics training focused on positive values? In spite of all the bad news you’ve seen in the media about ethics, we don’t build ethical cultures by focusing on the negative. Let’s face it – thinking about fraud, embezzlement and conflict of interest won’t make us better leaders. But that’s what many of us are focusing on in our organizations.
The future of ethical leadership is intentional, proactive and positive.
We need to stop focusing on NEGATIVE examples (what we don’t want) and start focusing on what ethical leadership looks like in action (what we do want). Ethical leadership at its best looks POSITIVE. That’s where we need to be focused in our conversations and our leader development.
Only by intentionally focusing on positive ethical values are we ethical leaders.
Only by intentionally focusing on positive ethical values do we create ethical workplaces.
Operating in the realm of values means shaking off the temptation to become fixated only on laws and regulations. Laws and regulations are there to remind us of the minimum standards. We need to focus on the higher level values that should guide our work. Operating in the realm of values includes:
- Having a positive vision of how values can transform our leadership and our organizations
- Clearly understanding and communication the ethical behaviors we want people to use
- Making day-to-day decisions based on positive ethical values
Being ready for the future of ethical leadership requires shaking off a compliance based mindset and operating in the realm of values.
Have you “got ethics?” Is your ethics based on positive values?
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