Trust-Building Requires Trust-Giving

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?

Leading For Ethics Future? (Or Ethics Past?)

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.

“Hearing” All Stakeholders (Even When They’re Not in the Room)?

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.

Is Your Leadership Net Positive?

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.

Ethics and Trust are Reciprocal

By Linda Fisher Thornton I was asked recently to explain in simple terms how ethics and trust are related. It is a great question, because we define trust and ethics in so many different ways. Here are some observations about how trust and ethics are related, and what their relationship means for us as organizational leaders.

10 Forces Fueling the Values-Based Leadership Movement

By Linda Fisher Thornton I believe that values-based leadership is gaining momentum. Recently I was asked to explain why I think so, and I thought I would share my answer in today's blog post. Values-based leadership is gaining momentum, and it's fueled by a convergence of positive trends. Here are a number of trends that I see that are working together to fuel the movement toward leading with positive values. They are coming from various directions and perspectives, all leading toward positive, proactive values-based leadership.

Ethics Isn’t Finite: It’s Evolving

By Linda Fisher Thornton As we strive to build ethical organizations, we must remember that our target is moving. As the world changes, ethical expectations change. It would be easier to develop ethical leaders and build ethical organizations if ethics were a fixed destination. A point on the map. A line in the sand. But it's just not that simple. Ethical expectations are evolving.

5 Leadership Development Priorities

By Linda Fisher Thornton The recent post "It's Not About Us" was the most popular post of all time on the Leading in Context Blog. It described how our understanding of leadership has moved beyond a focus on the leader to a focus on creating shared value for others.

Ethics is Contagious

By Linda Fisher Thornton I must admit that I can't take the credit for coming up with the catchy title of this post. A group of attendees at a recent keynote I delivered came up with it as a way to describe what they had learned. And it makes perfect sense. Ethics is catching, and leaders set the tone for the ethics of the organization. What would happen if everyone in the organization followed our lead? Would the organization be more or less ethical? What kind of ethics are people catching as they work in our organization?

Making Decisions Like Global Citizens

By Linda Fisher Thornton Character is important, but leading ethically in the fullest sense requires much more than just demonstrate good character. In this 2 minute video, I describe 7 different perspectives that you may be hearing around the table as you discuss ethical dilemmas in your organization. Instead of being competing perspectives, each one is an important element of the full picture of what it means to lead ethically in a global society.

How Current is My Message About Ethics?

By Linda Fisher Thornton Ethical expectations are continually increasing, and it is not always easy for leaders to keep up with the changes. This week, I'm sharing an assessment to help you answer the question "How current is my message about ethics?"