What is Ethical Leadership?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

This collection from reader favorites on the Leading in Context Blog will help you explore the scope and dimensions of today’s ethical leadership. As you will see, ethical leadership requires much more than following laws and regulations. We have to take on a global mindset and an openness to learning, and much more.

The Ethics and Self-Interest Paradox

By Linda Fisher Thornton

There was a lively discussion on LinkedIn in response to my post “Ethics” Means Acting Beyond Self-Interest.” Readers joined in the discussion and came up with some very interesting observations.

Developing the Ethical Leader of the Future

by Linda Fisher Thornton

On Thursday, I spoke about The Future of Ethics and Business Leadership at the Richmond SHRM Strategic Leadership Conference. My lens was leadership development – how to help leaders be ready to lead ethically in a highly complex, connected future.

Here are some success principles for developing “Ethical Leader Future:”

Becoming “Business Leader Future”

“Business Leader Future” Post Struck a Chord With Readers

The response to the February 1, 2012 post “Business Leader Future: A Sketch” has been overwhelming. Thanks so much to all of you who retweeted, commented on and shared it on your favorite social media channels.

At the end of this post is a visual story, via Storify, of selected reader comments.

Business Leader Future : A Sketch

Leading in a Complex Global Context

I did some research about global trends and challenges and how they will change the way we lead in the future. The answers I found explain why we sometimes feel that we’re in a perpetual state of disequilibrium.

2011 Most Ethical Companies

Which companies are the world’s most ethical? It depends on who you ask! Three reports posted at Ethisphere.com, MillwardBrown.com and Forbes.com reveal their rankings.

Ethisphere’s World’s Most Ethical Companies 2011 at Ethisphere.com organizes the mostethical companies by industry and country.

Ethics Impacts Top Brand Value

The Forbes Top Brands Report at Forbes.com lets us choose how you want to see the rankings by clicking the term at the top of the table. You may choose to rank based on Trust, Ethical Leadership, Innovation, Revenue, Advertising Spending or Industry. It’s interesting to see the names change when you compare the revenue rankings to the ethical leadership rankings.

Ethical Grey Areas: Our Choices Define Us

Grey Areas in Leading Ethically

We see plenty of information about lying, cheating, stealing and other obvious ethical violations. It is more difficult to know what to do when we encounter behaviors that fall into ethical grey areas, particularly in term of relationships with other people.

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?

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.

The Sustainability Mindset

There is a completely new mindset required to navigate the complex issues of our time. Sustainability is a word that is being used to describe the practice of operating as if our impact on the world and its resources truly matters…

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…