Leadership and… Conventional Wisdom

Sticking to yesterday's conventional wisdom can make us out-of-date, because it helps us ignore any information that contradicts our beliefs. It can lead us to make decisions based on out-of-date ways of thinking, and that may result in missed opportunities or even to bad decisions that can harm others. In this case, even though we do not set out to make bad decisions, the consequences of those decisions are just as real. BE OPEN TO CHANGE, WILLING TO CHANGE AND WILLING TO THINK DIFFERENTLY!

de Klerk’s Powerful Message: Conquering Fear in The Quest for a Shared Future

I was honored to have the opportunity to hear F. W. de Klerk speak in person last week when he visited the University of Richmond and spoke at the Jepson Leadership Forum about his role in ending apartheid in South Africa. In his remarks he said many powerful things about leadership in a global society. The one that struck a chord with me most was about "radical change."

Leadership and…Making Responsible Choices

5 Ways to Make Responsible Choices. Author's Note: This week's post is designed as a discussion-starter for leader groups and leadership classes. To use it that way, have each leader read the articles in advance, then discuss how to apply the 5 Ways when you gather as a group.

The Ethical Leadership Puzzle: A Broader View

There are companies that are winning categories in one aspect of ethical leadership (CSR, Sustainability, or Human Rights for example) and then being cited for violations in another aspect of ethical leadership (CSR, Sustainability, or Human Rights for example). The fact that it is happening illustrates the point that "ethical leadership" is broader than many companies think it is.

Leadership and…Respect: The New Minimum Standard for Workplace Behavior

This is a Themed Post featuring earlier Leading in Context™ Blog Posts about Respect. Each Post illustrates a different way that ethical leaders show respect. Enjoy! Respect is the New Minimum Standard for Workplace Behavior

Ethical Leadership Culture: The Case of the Dissenting Senior Leader

The Impact of the Unethical Senior Leader Take the common case of many organizational leaders trying to create an ethical culture, with one or more of the Senior Leaders not bought in or even blocking their efforts. The distraction, fear and chaos created by an unethical Senior Leader can drain the company of engagement, creativity and productivity. Is blocking a company's efforts to create an ethical culture unethical? You bet. It can be the cause of company failure because of the negative systemic effects that it creates. The systemic effects created by even one Senior Leader leading unethically include loss of trust, loss of employee engagement, loss of customers, lowered productivity, increased complaints, failure of departments to work together, sabotage, blaming, etc... Correct it Quickly When a Senior Leader is operating against the best interests of the company and its stakeholders, the problem needs to be corrected by the other Senior Leaders as quickly as possible. How?

Traps in How We Think About Leading: The Case of Focusing Too Much on Budget

Thinking About Decision-Making and Choosing Filters : Should You Give Back Unused Budget Money? If we don't think about how we want to make leadership decisions, then the crisis of the moment becomes our filter for making decisions. When the economy is unpredictable and profits are lower, the budget is often the crisis that becomes the thinking filter. It's dangerous to make important strategic decisions just based on money and just based on a short-term crisis. In the case below, see how different the outcome is when using strategic long-term thinking versus crisis-response short-term thinking.

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:

Top 10 Trends in Ethical Business Leadership 2010

This is a list of the top 10 trends that I have observed this year that are redefining "ethical leadership." Feel free to post a comment about other ethical business leadership trends you've observed that are moving responsible leadership forward.

Leading in Context LLC Publishes “Ethical Implications of How Leaders Perceive Different” Module

“Ethical Implications of How Leaders perceive Different” is a nine-page eBook designed to enhance leadership development programs by providing a thinking context for ethical leadership. Published by Leading in Context LLC.

Definition of “Top Brands” Evolving: Ethical Business Rankings Inform Purchasing Consumers

Will there be a convergence between the current "top 100 brands" and the "most ethical brands?" Brands that are the most ethical will continue to draw consumers wanting to support ethical business. Those consumers now have many sources of information to use in making purchasing decisions. Businesses - prepare to be ranked on ethics!

Sustainable Everything: What C-Suite Leaders Need to Know About the New Thinking

The growing sustainability mindset is not industry-specific or topic-specific. It is showing up in industries as diverse as foods, fashion and construction. While some industries are tending to dismiss this change in consumer behavior as a trend that will pass, others have realized that the movement is deeply rooted and that they will be at a competitive disadvantage if they don't respond.

Respecting People and Ideas Fuels Business Innovation

To encourage innovation, business leaders need to demonstrate respect for all ideas, regardless of the source. Ideas and emerging trends that some would consider to be "on the fringe" are often important in the next wave of innovative products.