5 Unexpected Teaching Insights

By Linda Fisher Thornton After teaching for more than 20 years, I was surprised last week by the University of Richmond School of Professional and Continuing Studies with the Itkowitz Family Distinguished Faculty Award. This is especially meaningful recognition for me, since I had 'learned through' the process of completely redesigning my Applied Ethics course as an online course and changing my teaching approach during the pandemic. This course redesign was an arduous process, and one that stretched me to become a better professor and a better person.

The Give and Take of Trust

By Linda Fisher Thornton The post Should Trust Be Freely Offered or Conditionally Earned generated lively discussions in LinkedIn Groups about extending trust when we meet someone new. It was clear from reading the discussions that trust has many different dimensions. Readers shared how they perceived trust – some saw it as an emotion, some saw it as a relationship, others described it as a mindset. They took the discussion beyond the original question and explored how we extend trust to others based on many variables.

Should People Have to “Earn” Your Trust?

By Linda Fisher Thornton When we meet someone new, should we trust them right away? Should we assume that they are trustworthy and give them the benefit of the doubt, or should we hold back until we are sure that they are worthy of our trust?

Ethical Leadership Fuels Adaptability

By Linda Fisher Thornton The post “Leader Competence: Will It Be A Multiplier or Divider?” generated some great discussion on social media. Here’s a quote from the post: “Leader competence is either going to be a multiplier or a divider. When you have it, you multiply performance and trust, with exponential results. Without it, you divide your possible results by the incompetence factor.” After reading the post, one reader requested that I write more on the topic. This week I’m digging deeper into the multiplying and dividing effects of leader (in)competence, looking at how a leader’s ethical competence impacts trust, people, bottom line results and organizational adaptability:

The Danger of Us Versus Them

By Linda Fisher Thornton Any time you draw a line that excludes, you're leaving ethical territory. That's a bold statement, but when someone draws a dividing line that intentionally excludes people or groups, it can lead to an "us versus them" mentality. And from there, it's a short slippery slope to this and more...

How Do You Recognize An Ethical Leader (Part 3)

By Linda Fisher Thornton n How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader Part 1 and Part 2, I shared 6 special qualities, behaviors and outcomes that define ethical leadership. This week I'll share three more. These are intentional actions ethical leaders take to stay competent as things change around them.

How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader? (Part 2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader (Part 1) I shared 3 special qualities and behaviors that define ethical leadership. These three additional leadership outcomes even more directly impact others in a positive way.

How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader? (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton How do you recognize an Ethical Leader? Today I'll share 3 special approaches to the leadership role that are central to ethical leadership. These are ways that ethical leaders understand their roles and responsibilities in relation to others and world. 

Unethical Leadership: Selective Inclusion

By Linda Fisher Thornton I previously wrote about the problem of selective respect and today I'll address it's evil twin. It has been happening right in front of us and has been amplified by social media - leaders speaking from a perspective of selective inclusion. This week, I'm sharing a collection of posts that explain the importance of full inclusion and how to recognize examples that stray from it.

Leading In Times of Wear and Tear

By Linda Fisher Thornton We've been through a lot. We're tired, worn out, overwhelmed, and stretched too thin. We're worried about our health and well-being and the health and well-being of those we love. We can't lead as if we were in normal times because we're definitely not and everyone knows it.

What is Ethical Leadership? Part 3

By Linda Fisher Thornton In part 3 of this series, I am sharing a clip from my recent talk at the Saint Anselm Center for Ethics in Society that answers the question "What happens when there is a serious conflict between two ethical values?" As you watch, think about the tradeoffs you and your organization have had to manage as you navigated the global pandemic.

What is Ethical Leadership? Part 2

By Linda Fisher Thornton Last week I shared a video clip of an overview of all 7 Lenses. This week, in Part 2, I'm sharing my response to the question, "Why haven't people agreed on one definition of ethical leadership?" from my recent talk at the Saint Anselm Center for Ethics in Society. Think about how many places you've seen recent disagreements about "the right thing to do" as you watch.

What is Ethical Leadership? Part 1

By Linda Fisher Thornton Which lenses must we look through to be ethical leaders? That is the important question I answered during a recent talk at the Ethics and Governance Forum at The Saint Anselm Center for Ethics in Society. As you watch the video clip overview of the 7 Lenses of Ethical Leadership, think about how you can apply all 7 Lenses in your daily thinking and leadership.