Navigating Ethical Complexity

By Linda Fisher Thornton Developing ethical leaders and building ethical cultures have become critical business priorities. As if that weren't already challenging enough, managing ethics well also requires systems thinking and a broad understanding of ethical responsibilities. Why is ethics such a challenge for organizations? It has many dimensions, and while we are sorting them all out, expectations for how well we handle day-to-day challenges are increasing.  Keeping up is a formidable challenge. 

Elements of Ethical Leadership Development

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leadership development is the ongoing process of guiding leaders to become ethical people and ethical leaders. It is not the same thing as compliance training or legal requirements, although those are also important. This is the human development that happens over time that brings leaders to the point of being able to handle what the world throws at them using ethical thinking and action.

5 Factors Ethical Leaders Control

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical leaders can't really "control" organizations, but there are specific things they can do to bring out the best in others and teams to move the organization forward. Here are five things ethical leaders can and should control to have a positive impact on the organizations they lead.

Ethical Thinking, Ethical Self: 5 Things You Need to Know

By Linda Fisher Thornton Developing an "ethical self" is important for good citizenship and good leadership. But what does it involve? There's more to developing and maintaining an ethical self than trying to make good choices. Making ethical choices isn't easy, and while we're struggling, our brains are actually working against us.

Ethical Thinking: Sifting For Values

By Linda Fisher Thornton Most people think about ethics, at least some of the time. Ethics comes to mind during ethics training, ethics conversations, when people are thrown into ethically complex situations, and when trying to understand current events. While we may think about ethics from time to time, ethical thinking is different. It is the process of actively considering how our choices align with ethical principles, and how those choices could impact our constituents. It is proactive, intentional and consistently applied.

Leadership Isn’t Cushy (Human Development Required)

By Linda Fisher Thornton There's a powerful connection between responsible leadership and human growth and development. It's not easily visible to leaders, so today I'm digging into how these important variables intersect and how they should inform our approach to leadership development.

Leadership: No Discomfort, No Growth

By Linda Fisher Thornton Why is using a growth mindset important in leadership? Some leaders actively avoid discomfort, not realizing that they are also avoiding the necessary growth that propels them to their best leadership. Great leadership doesn’t happen by itself. It happens when a leader decides to intentionally learn and grow, and to pursue that growth into the Discomfort Zone.

Trust Repair For Leaders (Part 3): Notice

By Linda Fisher Thornton This series of posts shares strategies for repairing organizational trust. It was inspired by conversations with other members of the Trust Across America Trust Alliance and my work as part of the Trust Alliance TAP team. #tap2021 Trust Repair Part 1 addressed the importance of Accountability and strategies for building a robust accountability system. Trust Repair Part 2 addressed strategies for improving leader Transparency. Trust Repair Part 3 includes strategies for overcoming a third area the Trust Alliance found to be a common problem - Notice. This important element of trust requires us to "seek out and listen to diverse perspectives - every voice can matter." (TAP Principles, Trust Across America Trust Alliance)

Trust Repair For Leaders (Part 2): Transparency

By Linda Fisher Thornton This is the second in a series on how to repair organizational trust. It was inspired by conversations with other members of the Trust Across America Trust Alliance and my work as part of the Trust Alliance TAP team as part of #tap2021. In this series, Trust Repair Part 1 addressed the importance of Accountability and strategies for building a robust accountability system. Trust Repair Part 2 addresses another area that the Trust Across America Trust Alliance found to be lacking in many organizations - Transparency.

Trust Repair For Leaders (Part 1): Accountability

By Linda Fisher Thornton This post is the first in a three-part series about how to repair organizational trust. It was inspired by conversations with other members of the Trust Across America Trust Alliance and my work as part of the Trust Alliance TAP team.

10 Trends Shaping the Future of Ethical Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton We need to get leadership right because so much depends on it. Many global factors are driving changes in ethical leadership expectations, and in high-stakes times, how we handle ethical leadership development can make or break our success. This week I've created a graphic that brings the expectations and priorities into clearer focus.

20 (Responsible) Leadership Outcomes

By Linda Fisher Thornton With responsible leadership, people experience feelings of self-worth from being treated well, and feelings of usefulness from being able to make a valuable contribution to the team. In this kind of environment, people can best use their talents to forward the organization's mission. How does responsible leadership make people feel? Here are 20 human responses that transform individual lives and organizational outcomes. Think about great leaders you have worked with and see if these outcomes resonate with your experience.

It’s Time For Ethically Adaptive Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton Agility and adaptability are mantras for leaders during this time of global unrest and catastrophic change. Each day brings new challenges that consume our time and require us to grow into higher levels of ethical awareness to avoid missteps and miscalculations. As we try to find stable footing in unstable times, ethical agility will be a factor in our success.

Ethics is Acting Beyond Self-Interest

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethics is fundamentally about acting beyond our own self-interests. Can we be ethical without considering others and acting in ways that benefit them?

Leadership: Evaluating Ethical Awareness

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical awareness may have been considered private in the past, but it has become easier to observe in a society that is always socially connected. Since ethical reputation is a defining element in individual and organizational success, it is time that we consider ethical awareness as a key element of experience when selecting leaders for our businesses, community organizations, governments, and nations.