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:

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:

Building Our Future on Global Values

By Linda Fisher Thornton We have become a divided society that seems to have lost its collective center in values. But we have worked globally for many years to define that center. I wrote an article for the Non-Violent Change Journal about creating a better world through values. Here is an excerpt from that article:

The Journey to Authentic Leadership

By Linda Fisher Thornton The journey to authentic leadership is not an easy one. It's full of challenges, and it requires developing a high level of self- and other-awareness over time. "Knowledge experiences" alone won't be enough to stimulate the kind of learning that is required on this important journey.

Different Perspectives (They’re Not a Threat)

By Linda Fisher Thornton Differences of opinion can be inconvenient and uncomfortable. We may be in a discussion with someone who has very different views from ours on a topic of great importance to us. How we handle it shows others the inner workings of our character.

Sensemaking

By Linda Fisher Thornton Richard J. Cordes write in Making sense of sensemaking: What it is and what it means for pandemic research (Atlantic Council), that "Sensemaking is our brain’s response to novel or potentially unexpected stimuli as it integrates new information into an ever-updating model of the world." While the research on Sensemaking is deep and complex, there are some practical questions leaders who are trying to make good decisions and help others make sense of a torrent of information can use to begin to identify and map out meaning. Leaders who make sensemaking a priority will not only make better decisions themselves, they'll also help employees make better decisions. People don't just need leaders to share relevant data, they need them to share observations and insights about what data means and why the meaning is important. They need leaders to make sense out of information.

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)