Different Perspectives (They’re Not a Threat)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Differences of opinion can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. We may be in a discussion with someone who has very different views from ours on a topic of great importance to us. How we handle it shows others the inner workings of our character.

Adaptability is an Ethical Issue

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ego-driven leaders want to be "right" even when the evidence shows otherwise. They see rightness as something fixed that they can control. Of course, it isn't fixed and they can't control it, but they may not want to be confused with the facts. Conversely, when ego is not driving the thinking process, leaders can adapt to changing information and circumstances and change their minds.

Ethical Culture: The Business Case For Prevention

By Linda Fisher Thornton After I published "Prevention or Cure: Your Choice" about reducing ethical risk and creating a positive culture a reader asked for more information about the business case for prevention. Here are some compelling reasons why the prevention approach is a better business decision than waiting for ethical problems and applying a "cure" after the organization is already in trouble.

Sensemaking

By Linda Fisher Thornton Richard J. Cordes write in Making sense of sensemaking: What it is and what it means for pandemic research (Atlantic Council), that "Sensemaking is our brain’s response to novel or potentially unexpected stimuli as it integrates new information into an ever-updating model of the world." While the research on Sensemaking is deep and complex, there are some practical questions leaders who are trying to make good decisions and help others make sense of a torrent of information can use to begin to identify and map out meaning. Leaders who make sensemaking a priority will not only make better decisions themselves, they'll also help employees make better decisions. People don't just need leaders to share relevant data, they need them to share observations and insights about what data means and why the meaning is important. They need leaders to make sense out of information.

Leadership, Blurred Lines and Sliding Scales

By Linda Fisher Thornton Leadership has entered a new realm, leaving the space of knowns and certainties (which was an illusion anyway) and entering the space of deep uncertainty, blurred lines and sliding scales. What it takes to succeed as a leader in this new realm is completely different from the leadership of ages past.

Navigating Paradox: Shift Your Perspective

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is a Paradox? "A paradox is a statement that contradicts itself, or that must be both true and untrue at the same time." --Literaryterms.net. Just like the many facets of a cut gem, there are multiple dimensions to issues and problems. Each facet reflects one particular element of the issue. When we encounter a paradox, we need to step back to get a broader view of the various facets.

Learning Ethical Leadership: Talent Development Implications

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership isn't something we can ever say we've fully accomplished. It's not about arriving at any particular place, or about achieving a certain level of knowledge. Just knowing about ethics and leadership won't get us very far in an information-flooded, globally shifting, and unpredictable world where we are under time pressure and held accountable for making ethical choices under ever-more-extreme conditions including the current global pandemic.

How Values Change Everything

By Linda Fisher Thornton of values as a critical element in enabling and focusing individual and collective success. Values shape your life, leadership, career and relationships. If you are currently going through life without knowing what your values are, you're missing out on a powerful force for good that can offer a turbo-charged boost to propel you to where you want to go. This week I'm sharing how values change everything. Take a look at some of the many ways that values are transformational, and if you haven't identified yours yet, I'll share some advice on how to get started.

Staying Focused in a “Human Attention Power Grab” World

By Linda Fisher Thornton Whether it's cute cat videos or shocking (and sometimes untrue) headlines, we've all found ourselves "down the rabbit hole" of distraction. We suddenly realize how much time has passed, and that we have abandoned important tasks to take an "infotainment journey."

5 Easy-To-Spot Hallmarks of (Un)Ethical Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton Quibbling about terminology –the words used to describe unethical behaviors as they are uniquely defined by different groups – just misdirects our attention away from some foundational, easy-to-spot signs of unethical leadership.

Elements of Ethical Leadership Development

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership development is the ongoing process of guiding leaders to become ethical people and ethical leaders. It is not the same thing as compliance training or legal requirements, although those are also important. This is the human development that happens over time that brings leaders to the point of being able to handle what the world throws at them using ethical thinking and action.

Fear Disrupts Human Development (And Ethics)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leaders create fear-free work environments, which are foundational in building and maintaining ethical culture and protecting reputation and ethical brand value. This week let's build on research previously shared in a popular post, and look at additional insights about the negative impact of fear-inducing leadership on individuals and organizations.

5 Factors Ethical Leaders Control

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leaders can't really "control" organizations, but there are specific things they can do to bring out the best in others and teams to move the organization forward. Here are five things ethical leaders can and should control to have a positive impact on the organizations they lead.

5 Insights For the Class of 2021

By Linda Fisher Thornton I have a special message for our 2021 graduates. Like 2020, this year has veered away from what we had hoped and planned. The COVID-19 pandemic is still a force in our lives that we must adapt to. And we're weary, but also hopeful that there are better times ahead. How can you start your college life or career under circumstances like these?

What Leadership Legacy Will You Leave?

By Linda Fisher Thornton What kind of leadership legacy will you leave? It's a powerful question that we don't often stop to think about. Here are some questions to reflect on to assess your legacy, as it stands now, and determine whether that's the "message in a bottle" that you want to leave for future generations.