Navigating Ethical Complexity

By Linda Fisher Thornton Developing ethical leaders and building ethical cultures have become critical business priorities. As if that weren't already challenging enough, managing ethics well also requires systems thinking and a broad understanding of ethical responsibilities. Why is ethics such a challenge for organizations? It has many dimensions, and while we are sorting them all out, expectations for how well we handle day-to-day challenges are increasing.  Keeping up is a formidable challenge. 

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.

Leadership Isn’t Cushy (Human Development Required)

By Linda Fisher Thornton There's a powerful connection between responsible leadership and human growth and development. It's not easily visible to leaders, so today I'm digging into how these important variables intersect and how they should inform our approach to leadership development.

Trust Repair For Leaders (Part 3): Notice

By Linda Fisher Thornton This series of posts shares strategies for repairing organizational trust. It was inspired by conversations with other members of the Trust Across America Trust Alliance and my work as part of the Trust Alliance TAP team. #tap2021 Trust Repair Part 1 addressed the importance of Accountability and strategies for building a robust accountability system. Trust Repair Part 2 addressed strategies for improving leader Transparency. Trust Repair Part 3 includes strategies for overcoming a third area the Trust Alliance found to be a common problem - Notice. This important element of trust requires us to "seek out and listen to diverse perspectives - every voice can matter." (TAP Principles, Trust Across America Trust Alliance)

Trust Repair For Leaders (Part 2): Transparency

By Linda Fisher Thornton This is the second in a series on how to repair organizational trust. It was inspired by conversations with other members of the Trust Across America Trust Alliance and my work as part of the Trust Alliance TAP team as part of #tap2021. In this series, Trust Repair Part 1 addressed the importance of Accountability and strategies for building a robust accountability system. Trust Repair Part 2 addresses another area that the Trust Across America Trust Alliance found to be lacking in many organizations - Transparency.

Trust Repair For Leaders (Part 1): Accountability

By Linda Fisher Thornton This post is the first in a three-part series about how to repair organizational trust. It was inspired by conversations with other members of the Trust Across America Trust Alliance and my work as part of the Trust Alliance TAP team.

600th Blog Post: 10 Leadership Lessons Learned

By Linda Fisher Thornton I've been blogging for 12 years, after making a very rocky start on March 5, 2009. If I had let my early failures determine my future, I would never have made it to this point, celebrating 600 posts on the Leading in Context Blog. Today I'm sharing 10 Leadership Lessons I've learned since starting this blog in the hopes that they will inspire you to press forward in your important work.

When Position Power and Ethics Collide

By Linda Fisher Thornton Our responsibilities as a citizen, worker, leader, family member, and friend require us to choose ethics over loyalty. Yet, when we do, it can surprise people. Maybe that's because it is not the easiest path to take. Here's a story about a situation I faced very early in my career, when I was in my 20s.

20 (Responsible) Leadership Outcomes

By Linda Fisher Thornton With responsible leadership, people experience feelings of self-worth from being treated well, and feelings of usefulness from being able to make a valuable contribution to the team. In this kind of environment, people can best use their talents to forward the organization's mission. How does responsible leadership make people feel? Here are 20 human responses that transform individual lives and organizational outcomes. Think about great leaders you have worked with and see if these outcomes resonate with your experience.

It’s Time For Ethically Adaptive Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton Agility and adaptability are mantras for leaders during this time of global unrest and catastrophic change. Each day brings new challenges that consume our time and require us to grow into higher levels of ethical awareness to avoid missteps and miscalculations. As we try to find stable footing in unstable times, ethical agility will be a factor in our success.

Ethical Awareness is a Moving Target

By Linda Fisher Thornton How well is your organization navigating the ethical pitfalls of the working world? If you're finding it to be a major challenge right now, you're not alone. Why is it so hard to navigate ethical minefields now? There is currently a "toxic soup" of factors at play...

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:

Top Post Series of 2020: Leading in Context Blog

By Linda Fisher Thornton The Top Post Series for last year on the Leading in Context Blog reflected the ethical challenges of decision-making during COVID-19. Truth and Misinformation: How To Spot False Narratives This series addressed the fine points of how to tell the difference between a false narrative and a message that is true. Here's a highlight quote from each post in the series that provides an overview.