Judging and Bullying: Are They Different?

What is Judging?

If each person’s view is different from the views of others, then what is judging?

A limited worldview that only allows the views of one person or group
Promoting one’s own thinking as the “perfection” of thinking
An attempt (intentional or not) to make ourselves look smarter by belittling another person or group
An attempt to control the behavior and thinking of others or groups

Leadership And…Ethical Thinking

5 Ways to Use Ethical Thinking. This post is designed to be a discussion-starter for leader groups and leadership classes. To use it that way, have each leader read the articles in advance, then discuss what you learned when you gather as a group.

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:


A collection of published articles written by Linda Fisher Thornton or featuring her insights. EDUCAUSE SPECIAL REPORT: Artificial Intelligence: Where Are We Now? (Includes Thornton’s Article “Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Accountability on Pages 8, 9 and 10) Linda Fisher Thornton’s…

Five Unintended Consequences of Linear Problem-Solving

Systems Are Not Linear

When solving complex business problems, it helps to remember that systems (including organizations) are not linear. Thinking of them as linear leads to easier one-dimensional decisions but ignores these things that we know about systems:

systems are dynamic
systems are adaptive
systems have complex contexts (they connect with many other systems)
Unintended Consequences of Linear Problem-Solving

5 Unethical Phrases: Ignoring Boundaries

Boundaries can be simply described as lines that we don’t cross when doing business.  Respecting these (sometimes clear, sometimes hazy) boundaries is an important part of today’s ethical leadership. The 5 phrases below signal that the speaker is ignoring an important ethical boundary:…

5 Ethics Reports and One Message: Ethics Matters

The Ethics Resource Center has posted a collection of 5 well-written ethical leadership research briefs on its website. Ethics.org The research briefs address issues in ethical business leadership including employee engagement, trust, culture, risk management, and generational differences.       For more, see new book 7 Lenses and…

Ethics Schmethics: What Skeptics are Saying

Here is a website (called appropriately EthicsCrisis.com) where readers can confess their ethical misdeeds and have them rated by level from 1 to 10. Guess what? The ethical misdeed “We totally fabricated our numbers” is only rated a 6 out…

Ethical Leadership is Crucial to Profitability

Being an ethical leader is the right thing to do.  And it pays off.  There is a paradox that makes this information difficult for some experienced leaders to act on. Some business leaders are so concerned with the bottom line and shareholder value that they…