By Linda Fisher Thornton Every leader has a values equation. It can be calculated by the day, week, year and lifetime. In the ideal situation, a leader's values equation is consistently positive. How do you calculate your values equation?
By Linda Fisher Thornton In a previous post, I addressed some of the risks of not taking time to THINK before making decisions. Today, I want to explore why it is so important for leaders to understand the CONTEXT before they make decisions.
By Linda Fisher Thornton In a previous post Talking About What Matters (Part 1), I explored how talking about ethical values engages people, helps them find meaning and improves the organization's metrics. This week I want to begin to explore what the conversation should include. You may be surprised to learn that it’s not all about what WE COMMUNICATE about values - it's their questions that will help us bring values to life.
By Linda Fisher Thornton There were 52 Leading in Context blog posts published in 2014, and the ones isted below are the 10 that were most popular with readers. They are focused on learning proactive ethical leadership and building a high-trust culture. If I had to describe the theme of these posts it might be "learning how to keep up with changes in ethical leadership expectations." As you review these reader favorites, think about how you will adapt to changing ethical leadership expectations in 2015.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Don't assume that an ethical culture will just happen in your workplace. Even if you are a good leader, ethical culture is a delicate thing, requiring intentional positive leadership and daily tending. It requires more than good leadership, more than trust building, and more than good hiring. Why does building an ethical culture require so much more than good leadership? Ethical culture is a system of systems, and just putting in good leadership, trust-building and good hiring doesn't make it healthy.
By Linda Fisher Thornton
A reader commented on the post Can A Toxic Leader Be Ethical? Yes and No requesting more information about the organizational side-effects of toxic leadership. If you have ever worked for a toxic leader (myself included) you have already experienced the powerful negative side effects first-hand.
When people are treated as "less than human," "less than capable" or as "pawns in a game" some extremely negative things happen in the organization that derail its success. Attempts to control what people do and say makes them feel inadequate and unappreciated. Withholding information to preserve power creates an environment of suspicion.
By Linda Fisher Thornton
I was weeding in the garden this week, and I discovered two new weeds that were taller than I was. I started thinking about how quickly things can get away from us, in the garden and in our organizations. There are things we must do to build a high trust workplace. But there are equally important things that we must prevent or weed out for trust to flourish.
By Linda Fisher Thornton
In the 200th Leading in Context Blog Post, I wrote about Learning at the Speed of Life. To celebrate the 250th post, I want to reflect on what it's been like to work every day in the stretch beyond the comfort zone.
...Systems and connections are the stuff we and organizations are made of. To begin to solve today's complex problems, systemic and connected thinking is the kind of thinking we need to use.
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
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?
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.