Defining Characteristics of Unethical Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This week I’m sharing posts that clearly describe what unethical leadership looks like, and caution readers about the risks of allowing it to continue. While I have always blogged about proactive ethical leadership, my posts on unethical leadership continue to be some of the most popular, so I know you’re looking for answers.

Digital Deception: Unethical Sleight of Hand

Things are not always as they seem. Technology has advanced to the point that we can’t be sure whether or not what we’re seeing is real. There are many new ways that bad actors are usual digital sleight of hand to trick us. And the list is growing.

It will take a healthy dose of skepticism, critical observation and research skills to find out if what we see is as it appears. Educate yourself and your teams about these methods of trickery and how to spot them:

Unethical Leadership: Beliefs of Convenience

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Sometimes leaders believe things that aren’t true because they haven’t taken time to investigate the truth. In other cases, they may have trusted someone who has misled them. But there’s an even more problematic reason some leaders may ignore the truth – claiming to believe the falsehood may benefit them in a tangible way.

Unethical Leadership: Selective Respect

By Linda Fisher Thornton

We’ve seen selective respect too often. Beyond harming the people who are disrespected, it also destroys trust, and leads to chaotic environments and fear-based cultures. Even though we’ve all seen selective respect in action, we may not have had the vocabulary to describe why it’s wrong (beyond calling it mean or inappropriate). This week I’m digging in to those details. 

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.

Today I’m sharing posts about unethical leadership that may answer your deep questions about what leadership looks like when it is NOT ethical:

Ethical and Unethical Sales Leadership: What’s The Difference?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Unfriendly Sales Techniques

Times are still tight for consumers and salespeople are concerned about their jobs. It seems that is more tempting now than it would be in a booming economy to use high-pressure tactics or other unfriendly approaches in order to get business. And pushy, unfriendly sales techniques stand out even more in difficult economic times. Customers will go out of their way to avoid companies that use them.

Some unfriendly approaches that I have observed recently include:

What is Unethical Leadership?

Exploring “Unethical Leadership”

How do we define unethical leadership?

While there are hundreds of stories that illustrate examples of unethical leadership in the news, those stories taken together still do not clearly define the boundaries of what unethical leadership includes

Is Needing to Be “Right” Unethical?

by Linda Fisher Thornton

We Like to be “Right”

Why do we sometimes abandon civility? One reason is that when the discussion gets heated, sometimes we just like to be “right.” And sometimes we abandon civility to try to prove that we are.

5 Unethical Phrases: Low Trust

How we treat people is an important part of ethical leadership. It is also a critical part of building trust in the organization. These 5 phrases signal that the speaker may not be treating other people in the company respectfully and may not be considering the ideas and concerns of others when making decisions:

5 Unethical Phrases: Refusing to Change

Leading ethically requires staying competent as a professional and as a leader. The speed of change in today’s global economy may cause leaders to fall behind even while they are diligently working to stay on top of trends and industry knowledge. These 5…

5 Unethical Phrases: Ignoring Boundaries

Boundaries can be simply described as lines that we don’t cross when doing business.  Respecting these (sometimes clear, sometimes hazy) boundaries is an important part of today’s ethical leadership. The 5 phrases below signal that the speaker is ignoring an important ethical boundary:…