We The People: What We Value

By Linda Fisher Thornton As we near the 4th of July, it is a fitting time to remind ourselves of the greater vision for our country. During a tour of the Constitution Center in Philadelphia, I realized that the U.S. Constitution opens with a beautiful ethics code designed to ground our nation in a commitment to the long-term greater good of society.

Seeing the Facets of Facts Part 1

By Linda Fisher Thornton Most of the time when we answer a question with a single response, that answer is only part of the picture. We have all seen leaders (who may feel a need to appear decisive) answer quickly without thinking through the implications of their response. When this happens, what they share is oversimplified and "partialized," not a relevant or responsible interpretation of the complex issues involved.

AI: Where Are We Now? Report via EDUCAUSE

By Linda Fisher Thornton Managing the ethics of artificial intelligence is only becoming more complex over time, and the stakes are high for finding a path forward. This week I am sharing a special report "AI: Where Are We Now?" published by EDUCAUSE. This timely report includes an article I wrote for the EDUCAUSE Review titled "Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Accountability." The article (on pages 8, 9 and 10 in the EDUCAUSE Special Report) explores the intersection of AI and ethical accountability and provides practical guidance, closing with Five Steps IT Departments Can Take to Manage the Ethics of AI.

The Give and Take of Trust

By Linda Fisher Thornton The post Should Trust Be Freely Offered or Conditionally Earned generated lively discussions in LinkedIn Groups about extending trust when we meet someone new. It was clear from reading the discussions that trust has many different dimensions. Readers shared how they perceived trust – some saw it as an emotion, some saw it as a relationship, others described it as a mindset. They took the discussion beyond the original question and explored how we extend trust to others based on many variables.

Ethical Leadership Fuels Adaptability

By Linda Fisher Thornton The post “Leader Competence: Will It Be A Multiplier or Divider?” generated some great discussion on social media. Here’s a quote from the post: “Leader competence is either going to be a multiplier or a divider. When you have it, you multiply performance and trust, with exponential results. Without it, you divide your possible results by the incompetence factor.” After reading the post, one reader requested that I write more on the topic. This week I’m digging deeper into the multiplying and dividing effects of leader (in)competence, looking at how a leader’s ethical competence impacts trust, people, bottom line results and organizational adaptability:

How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader? (Part 2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton In How Do You Recognize an Ethical Leader (Part 1) I shared 3 special qualities and behaviors that define ethical leadership. These three additional leadership outcomes even more directly impact others in a positive way.

Unethical Leadership: Selective Inclusion

By Linda Fisher Thornton I previously wrote about the problem of selective respect and today I'll address it's evil twin. It has been happening right in front of us and has been amplified by social media - leaders speaking from a perspective of selective inclusion. This week, I'm sharing a collection of posts that explain the importance of full inclusion and how to recognize examples that stray from it.

What is Ethical Leadership? Part 3

By Linda Fisher Thornton In part 3 of this series, I am sharing a clip from my recent talk at the Saint Anselm Center for Ethics in Society that answers the question "What happens when there is a serious conflict between two ethical values?" As you watch, think about the tradeoffs you and your organization have had to manage as you navigated the global pandemic.

What is Ethical Leadership? Part 2

By Linda Fisher Thornton Last week I shared a video clip of an overview of all 7 Lenses. This week, in Part 2, I'm sharing my response to the question, "Why haven't people agreed on one definition of ethical leadership?" from my recent talk at the Saint Anselm Center for Ethics in Society. Think about how many places you've seen recent disagreements about "the right thing to do" as you watch.

Top 10 Posts of 2021: Leading in Context Blog

By Linda Fisher Thornton Of the 52 individual posts published on the Leading in Context Blog in 2021, these 10 were the most popular. See if you notice a theme that connects these new topics that readers accessed most frequently:

Conquer These Leadership Temptations In The New Year

By Linda Fisher Thornton We’re starting a new year, with fresh possibilities, and it is a good time to think about our leadership values. What do we believe? How do we treat others? What matters to us? Can people determine our values by watching how we treat people?

22 Quotes to Inspire Leaders in the New Year (Part 2)

By Linda Fisher Thornton This series includes 22 quotes (linked to posts with leadership guidance) to inspire you and help you improve your leader development as we head into the new year. Part 1 included the first 11. Here are 11 more:

22 Quotes to Inspire Leaders in the New Year (Part 1)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Are your leaders prepared for the year ahead? Each day will bring new challenges, and to succeed within ethical boundaries, we’ll all need a clear picture of “good leadership.” This series is an annual tradition and this year’s posts include 22 quotes (each linked to a post with leadership guidance) to inspire you to grow your leadership skills to be ready for whatever 2022 may bring. Part 1 includes the first 11.

Setting Stretch Goals? Build in Ethics

By Linda Fisher Thornton Employers using stretch goals to motivate employees to higher levels of performance need to take note of the ethical risk. If the push for higher performance doesn't come with an emphasis on ethical behavior, it may be encouraging cheating.

Aligning Strategy and Values

By Linda Fisher Thornton Consumers are seeking brands that support well-being, sustainability and social justice, realizing that brands that care about these things are more likely to have the best interests of consumers and society at heart. Brands will be well served to assess their alignment between values, culture and strategy.