Beyond Civility

By Linda Fisher Thornton Civility seems like a minimum standard or a fallback position, certainly not a desired end. We expect so much more from ethical leaders. Without civility, communication is chaotic and difficult (if not impossible). Civility adds choosing…

MindTools Expert Interview Podcast With Linda Fisher Thornton

By Linda Fisher Thornton I recently did an interview with Rachel Salaman for the MindTools Expert Interview Podcast.  We had a lively conversation about ethical leadership and the concepts from my book 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership.  Click on the graphic below to read the MindTools blog post featuring highlights from that interview and an excerpt of the podcast.

Why Ethical Thinking Matters (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton To celebrate 7 Lenses going into its second printing (big news!), this is the first post in a special series focused on Why Ethical Thinking Matters. I'm hoping the strategies shared in this series will give you a fresh perspective on your talent development plans for 2018. Ethical thinking drives ethical choices and behavior. Marcus Aurelius said "Our life is what our thoughts make it." According to Buddha, "We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world." I believe that leadership development efforts must address the values-based thinking behind good leadership, or it will not lead to good leadership. If we just teach people skills, without upgrading their thinking, we are not preparing them for success in the real world.

9 Ethical Roles: Is Your Leadership Team “All In”

By Linda Fisher Thornton I blogged a while back about the Critical Roles of the (Ethical) CEO. I realized later that these important ethical roles apply not just to CEOs, but also to all senior leaders in an organization. And if the leaders they manage don't carry these roles throughout the organization, there will be gaps in the culture.

Just Say No To 10 Behaviors That Kill Competence

By Linda Fisher Thornton On the lifelong quest to become our best selves, we must S-T-R-E-T-C-H and grow and learn from our mistakes. Being a flexible and willing learner, we can more easily stay competent as the world changes. Here are 10 things that we must NEVER do if we are to accomplish the elusive goal of becoming our best selves:

Three Questions – Are Our Leaders Ready For The Future?

By Linda Fisher Thornton Our future success is in the hands of our leaders. They will be the ones to notice and remove roadblocks, mentor employees and foresee future opportunities. They will be the ones to tackle the seemingly unsolvable problems of the future. Are they ready?

7 Questions For Ethical Culture Building

By Linda Fisher Thornton We create organizational culture through strategic choices and daily actions. If we imagine building our culture as creating an elaborate painting, what will we depict on the canvas? Will we work together to carefully paint a background theme of positive values, or will we just give everyone brushes and "see where it goes?"

7 Definitions of “Good” (Why We Disagree About Ethics)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Why is it so difficult to agree on the right thing to do? One of the reasons we may not agree is that each of us may be using a different definition of what is "good." Here are 7 different interpretations of what is ethically good, based on the framework in 7 Lenses: Learning the Principles and Practices of Ethical Leadership (2013). Which ones are you using in your leadership?

How to Build an Ethical Culture

By Linda Fisher Thornton Today I'm sharing hand-picked resources about how to build an ethical culture. The most recent one was just published this week by Government Executive magazine. They acknowledge complexity, and are based on performance improvement and ethical principles. This collection provides practical advice for how to build high trust cultures and keep the ethics conversation alive. Use it to create workplaces where people thrive and where "ethical" is a way of life.

10 Forces Fueling the Values-Based Leadership Movement

By Linda Fisher Thornton I believe that values-based leadership is gaining momentum. Recently I was asked to explain why I think so, and I thought I would share my answer in today's blog post. Values-based leadership is gaining momentum, and it's fueled by a convergence of positive trends. Here are a number of trends that I see that are working together to fuel the movement toward leading with positive values. They are coming from various directions and perspectives, all leading toward positive, proactive values-based leadership.

What is the Greater Good?

What is the Greater Good? As leaders, we must think beyond our own interests to the interests of those we lead and serve, and the interests of communities and the world. We must take a long-term view, keeping in mind the broad effects of our day-to-day decisions. Many people refer to the "greater good" as an important part of leading ethically, and use different words to describe it. The descriptions collectively paint a picture of a responsibility to think beyond ourselves and to work for a better, inclusive society.