Don’t Let Your Ego Undermine Your Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ego has a way of undoing even our best intentions as leaders. We have to be aware of our ego and manage it to avoid getting off track. In a world that requires rapid adaptation to changing events and circumstances, ego tries to maintain the status quo and works against our ability to pivot in response to change. Think of the adaptable leader as piloting a boat, able to turn at a moment's notice as the situation warrants it. The ego-driven leader, in contrast, is living in a fortress with a moat around it, protecting status and the status quo at all cost. The fortress can't move, can't pivot, can't adapt to changing circumstances.

Values-Based Culture: The Nudge

By Linda Fisher Thornton I was driving recently when the car beside me started to veer over into my lane. I was able to avoid an accident, but it made me think about what happens when employees start "crossing the line" in organizations. When someone becomes aware that another employee is doing something that goes against the company's values, what happens then? There are things leaders can do. Unlike the car example, the conditions needed to avoid a problem when an employee starts to cross the line are more complex. And the potential problems that can happen (if an employee crosses the line and does something unethical) are numerous. Under the right conditions, employees may nudge each other to stay in the lane, and a positive, high trust culture helps create those conditions.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Ethical Thinking, Ethical Self: 5 Things You Need to Know

By Linda Fisher Thornton Developing an "ethical self" is important for good citizenship and good leadership. But what does it involve? There's more to developing and maintaining an ethical self than trying to make good choices. Making ethical choices isn't easy, and while we're struggling, our brains are actually working against us.

Ethical Thinking: Sifting For Values

By Linda Fisher Thornton Most people think about ethics, at least some of the time. Ethics comes to mind during ethics training, ethics conversations, when people are thrown into ethically complex situations, and when trying to understand current events. While we may think about ethics from time to time, ethical thinking is different. It is the process of actively considering how our choices align with ethical principles, and how those choices could impact our constituents. It is proactive, intentional and consistently applied.

10 Trends Shaping the Future of Ethical Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton We need to get leadership right because so much depends on it. Many global factors are driving changes in ethical leadership expectations, and in high-stakes times, how we handle ethical leadership development can make or break our success. This week I've created a graphic that brings the expectations and priorities into clearer focus.

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.

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...

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.

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.