The Complexity of Ethical Thinking and Decision Making (Part 5)

By Linda Fisher Thornton While change is a constant reality, it doesn't always factor into leadership thinking. In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I explored the Depth of our thinking, and the importance of understanding Context. In Part 3…

What is Meaningful Leadership? (Part 4)

By Linda Fisher Thornton

What is Meaningful Leadership? Seeking the Truth & Excavating Grey Areas Using Ethical Values
In Part 1 of this series we looked at how leaders generate meaningful environments where others can thrive. In Part 2 we explored a leader's own quest for authenticity. In Part 3 we looked at the role of powerful conversations and a focus on collective success. In Part 4, we'll examine how meaningful leadership requires truth-seeking based on ethical values. 

Leaders: Can You Control Ethics?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

The question for today is "Can we control ethics?" Leaders have tried to control ethics with compliance-based systems (based on rules and penalties) but that does not tend to inspire people to ethical action. Leaders have tried to control ethics by running a tight ship, closely managing workers, but that does not bring out the best in people and may lead to workers not caring about protecting the company's reputation. 

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.

Prevention or Cure? Your Choice

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Senior leadership teams and boards have a choice. In their ethics strategy, they can focus on prevention or cure.

The cure approach is reactive and messy. It involves waiting for something bad to happen, then scrambling to do damage control. Then you have to build an ethical support system (perhaps at the insistence of a regulatory body) to prevent it from happening again.

The prevention approach is proactive and positive, and it helps prevent those messy problems. It involves building the ethical support system up front, while things are going well.

5 Signs Your Culture is FAILING

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Building a positive ethical culture is a long-term process. It involves much more than just company trappings and perks - leaders must make a commitment to people and to creating a positive work space. When things seem to be going well, it's easy to miss signs that the culture may be off track.

The Triple Bottom Line Is Just The Beginning

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Many organizations are still talking about the triple bottom line (Profits, People, Planet) as if it's the standard for ethical business.

While it's a great improvement over focusing on profit alone, the triple bottom line doesn't reflect the current expectations of customers, employees and global markets.

Reader Question: Why Did You Include Profit as One of the 7 Lenses?

By Linda Fisher Thornton

Recently, a 7 Lenses reader told me she loved the leadership book but she had one question - "Why did I include Profit in the 7 Lenses?" This is a question that has come up before, so I will address it in today's post.

10 Thinking Traps (That Ethical Leaders Avoid)

Avoid These 10 Thinking Traps What are some of the thinking traps that we fall into as leaders? I'm not referring to "correlation versus causation" and other logical reasoning problems. There are some common ways of thinking about business leadership that…

What is Conscious Capitalism?

By Linda Fisher Thornton What is Conscious Capitalism? In last week's post, I explored how Ethics Means Acting Beyond Self Interest. This week, I’ll explore the same question at the organizational level. What are an organization’s ethical responsibilities? How is conscious…