By Linda Fisher Thornton While I specialize in positive, proactive ethical leadership, I frequently get asked questions about unethical leadership. In particular, readers ask about the damage that toxic leaders do in organizations and what situations and circumstances lead to ethical failures. Today I'm sharing posts about unethical leadership that may answer your deep questions about what leadership looks like when it is NOT ethical:
By Linda Fisher Thornton The pace of change is out of control in the workplace. Have any of you learned more than three new software programs this week? Have you had to deliver on deadline in spite of being completely new to a project? Have you struggled to get the attention of colleagues when you need their input, only to find that they are too busy to make the time to meet?
By Linda Fisher Thornton Positive leadership is a new term that is popping up regularly in articles. What does it mean? What kind of leadership do we describe as positive?
By Linda Fisher Thornton What is research? The answer depends on your perspective. Some people believe the definition is very narrow, and only if you "do it right" in the scientific sense does it meet the requirements of proper research. Others believe that it includes paying attention to messages from all areas of our lives and using that information to achieve insight and understanding.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Many leaders wonder how to prepare for an uncertain future - one that is filled with complexity, changing expectations and an increasing global awareness about ethical responsibility. On October 13, 2015 I will be presenting a webinar…
By Linda Fisher Thornton We are all imperfectly human. We make mistakes. We do things that aren't responsible. Yes we ALL do things that aren't responsible at times. If you think you're exempt, let me ask you this.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Last week I blogged about 40 Ethical Culture Gaps to Avoid. This week, I'm sharing a 'What To Do" list of 40 Ways to Build an Ethical Culture. This list includes many ways to incorporate ethical values into daily organizational leadership. Each one of these 40 Ways to Build an Ethical Culture can improve an organization. Leaders paying attention to all of these factors will reap rewards that include improved employee engagement, better financial performance, increased productivity and job satisfaction, improved competitive position and more. Use this "ethical to do list" to assess your culture. Put a check mark beside the positive ethical actions that you have observed in your organization. Any that you leave unchecked are opportunities for improvement.
By Linda Fisher Thornton When we want to prepare leaders for success in the trenches of business leadership, we don't get very far by providing a cushy "spa-like experience." We can easily focus too much on creating "events" for leader education and…
By Linda Fisher Thornton If you think your customers are separate from your business, you are behind the times. Customers are becoming part of the fabric of organizations in ways that meet their very specific needs. This week I describe 5 powerful trends that are changing the rules of business, and require a heightened ethical awareness.
By Linda Fisher Thornton During the recent 2014 NeuroLeadership Summit, Jamil Zaki (an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford) talked about an interesting experiment the Stanford Neuroscience Lab did. The team took a large number of Fortune 100 statements of company values and generated a word cloud from them to see which word would appear most often. Which word was it? Integrity was the most frequently used word. This experiment reveals a general agreement that integrity is important, but what exactly does it mean? People may understand it in very different ways.
By Linda Fisher Thornton To build a strong ethical culture, leaders should take a positive, preventive approach to ethics. That would include communicating clear ethical values and expectations and quickly stopping any unethical behavior. But those things are not enough by themselves. There are cultural factors that either enable our prevention efforts or disable them.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Good leaders Intentionally build trust. They build it through everyday words and actions. They build it by demonstrating that they can be trusted. They also build it when they extend trust to others. Many leaders wait for people to prove themselves before they trust them, but trust is reciprocal. Leaders set the tone for trust-building by how open they are to trusting others first. Are you reaching out? Or are you waiting for your employees to have a "perfect" record before trusting them?
By Linda Fisher Thornton We are expected to make ethical decisions in a rapidly changing global society, where there is increasing awareness of what "ethical" means. The question of where ethics is headed has been the focus of my research over the last four years. I have learned that to be considered ethical, we must consider more constituents, honor more dimensions of ethics, and lead ethically through higher levels of complexity. How do we prepare for that? We reach higher and think longer-term.
By Linda Fisher Thornton A quiet group of stakeholders is being considered in leadership conversations. They can't weigh in on major decisions, but they have a lot at stake in the decisions that get made. They are silent stakeholders, and the decisions we make in our meetings every day affects them directly.
By Linda Fisher Thornton Generating an intentional positive ethical impact is the successful ethical leadership of the future, and it's already here. The Forum For the Future describes it as net positive leadership - making a positive contribution to society and leaving things better than we found them.